Sunday, December 30, 2007

Breaking News

At 8:30 p.m. Central Standard Time St. Paul Katie won first place at the "Year End Bonus" high-stakes poker event. Katie pocketed $200 and got the respect and admiration of the entire table, ironically, as she took money from her friends.

'Year End Bonus' tonight

St. Paul Katie hosted a year end poker event and as of 7:15 she was still sitting behind tall stacks of chips. The pressure is on, since the Vikings lost and Dallas lost today, she's the only dog we have left in the race.
Titled "St. Paul Katie's Year End Bonus," the high-stakes event drew colorful characters from around the country.

Among the guests were Da Professor (left) and Hat Daddy (below), who were summarily discharged after their money was taken.

It wasn't a total loss for them: Katie provided crockpots filled with meatballs and chicken wings as well as an ample supply of adult beverages.
She likes to feed a man before taking his money.

She'll grow into it, we're sure . .

Kathleen's big sister, Mary Lou Brewer, sent this lovely Christmas coat for Emily from Colorado. Yes, it is a bit big right now, but that's part of the plan. It will fit perfectly before you know it. Thanks, Mary Lou!

Meet Michelle, Mom's Right Hand

Here's Michelle, a very important person who takes care of many things for Mom at Clearwater Suites. She comes in to see Mom at least three times a week; cheerful and skilled, we're all lucky to have her. Photo was taken by Solveig during her four day Christmas visit along with her husband, Bill.
At right is Steve's tree.

Here's some fun, from a family friend

Country school classmate Lorlee Bartos found another school photo in her stuff. This one was from the 1955 term, I think. Find Virgil, Stephen, Solveig and Stan in this photo. That's Kathleen Roth and Lorlee Bartos in the back.Linda in pigtails is surrounded by classmates. She must be in the sixth grade here.
Here's Lorlee's mystery. Who is the girl at the left in this picture? In the front is Sonja Trousil and Duane Bartos.
Here's the original picture. Click on it and it will blow up.

Comment from Linda Rolfsrud Letnes:
I loved Lorlee's picture. Virg must have come in for the picture, he wasn't in first grade yet. Cute. In my class we had Tom Navratil and Roland Trousil. In seventh grade I am guessing we only had Wes Heibel and Warren Trousil. Charlotte Force used to come to school in the fall until they went to Florida for the winter season when she was younger. I remember a lovely person in eighth grade, Diane ?, I just don't know. That's Irene Marquette, an 8th grader, in dark hair. Duane and Sonja's class was a larger class. The Kakaks came about that time. Did Kathy have an older sister? I keep thinking that this lovely girl Stan is wondering about came from the farm a quarter of a mile from the Gulbransons on our way home. A Heibel? Ann Marie? Just guessing now. I have a photograph album in one of the unopened boxes with lots of pictures of Oak Grove Country School. In time I will get it out.

(They used to call Irene "Inky Dee Marie." -- Stan)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The map room

Our condo on Lake Street has received a number of visitors this week. This morning our Shakopee neighbors, Sandy and Tom, drove in with us for a Mexican breakfast at the Global Market. Besides the now-famous $59 marble floor, we've added a map to the bar top in the media room so you can easily follow the international news. And the ocean looks good with the blue walls. Sandy found Kentucky right away. Earlier in the week, Randy and Bruce stopped by to see the place. Their curiosity was high, because when they learned that all three elevators to the tenth floor were temporarily out of service, they gamely sprinted the stairs. Actually, they sprinted the first couple of flights, and then the huffing and puffing took over. Right after they left for dinner, the elevators started working again.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Maxwell styles new blue sweats from Grandma and Grandpa. The photo may have been taken with the tiny digital spy camera he also scored. Meanwhile, over on the Erik and Shana blog, Anja flashes a toothy grin while slinging a leg over what appears to be a four-wheel tri-cycle?

Christmas greetings from western No.Dak.

It may be Christmas Night in the furthest reaches of western North Dakota, but the search for oil goes on unabated, in a never ending bid to fuel a thirsty nation. Today we received a small batch of photographs from the Rolfsrud Ranch, where the cowboys have the decency to cease operations for traditional gift-giving and family activities.

Full house
When we say we received a small batch of photos, that's exactly what we mean. That, and a heart-felt wish for a Happy New Year. These Norwegian farmers don't waste words. So the captions on the photos are based on the failing memory of the blog editor and his lovely assistant, and subject to exaggeration, prevarication, misidentification, and, of course, eventual correction.
Western North Dakota, where women are strong and
all their children are above average

These brides have all chosen Rolfsrud men as their life partners -- with two exceptions. Second from the end is Kelli Rolfsrud McCoy. She's Marilyn and Harold's only daughter. Her husband, Jiro, is giving flight instruction in Iraq. Sorry, we're not sure about the lovely gal on the end. But from the front it is Gena (David), Deb (Doug), Marilyn (Harold), Nancy (John) and Trish (Guy) Rolfsrud.They stand tall in the kitchen, probably having just prepared and delivered a fine table of Christmas delight to their men and children.

Christmas guests at the Rolfsrud Ranch included Guy Rolfsrud, his wife, Trish, and their daughter, Brooke, from Cottonwood, Minnesota, as well as Cousin Joe Weltzin, his wife, Adalina, and their daughter, Marby, from nearby Watford City. The girls appear much bigger and older than they did at the family reunion last summer.

Christmas chaos abounds in these photos of family activity. In the background, a red-shirted David Rolfsrud is apparently connecting a brand-new Christmas doodad to the family computer. Hurry up, Dad. Me first. John Rolfsrud, left, watches Madison check out her new item. At the far right, that's no ring on Trish's right hand -- it's a pacifier at the ready.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Black Forest Inn hosts life-long pals

Spatzel, dark beer and stories regaled these old boomers tonight at the Black Forest Inn at 26th and Nicollet in Minneapolis. Friends since leaving Concordia College in Moorhead back in the 60s, they are Randy Anderson, Los Angeles; Bruce Berg, Wirt, Minnesota; Stan Rolfsrud; and Paul Mathies, Minneapolis. Later they were joined by Kathy Sampson, Minneapolis. Topics like politics, religion and aches and pains were largely avoided. No senior citizen discount was offered, but, despite being on a writer's strike in LA, Randy picked up the tab. Sunday he'll be at St. Paul Katie's poker table in an attempt to get it all back.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We took 26 group photos tonight. . .

And this was the best one.Linda and Ron Letnes hosted Boxing Day at their Blaine home today. Virgil and Becky Rolfsrud came with their son, Alex, from Eden Prairie; Solveig and Bill came from Sunol, California; Erik and Shana and Anja Erickson came from Circle Pines, Downtown Steve Letnes came from downtown Minneapolis, and Kathleen and Stan motored in from Shakopee. The affectionate seated couple are the hosts. Erik Erickson took the picture. The tree is so tall there wasn't room in the photo for the star. Everyone had a great time.

Midnight flight brings Mom's Christmas guests

Bill and Solveig Shearer may have shared a flight plan with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. It all started Monday evening when Jenn LaBrie and Zach Shearer entertained Solveig and Bill for Christmas Eve dinner at their home in Castro Valley.

Then Zach donned his chauffeur hat and took Solveig and Bill to the San Francisco airport for a midnight flight to Minnesota. In the early dark hours, the two drove through quiet, wide, and snow-free roads to Alexandria.
There, Beverly Rolfsrud entertained the two at the Christmas buffet at Rudy's Redeye in the Holiday Inn.

That afternoon, it was off to the Wexford for a family gathering at Linda and Ron's in Blaine, then back to Alexandria for a long winter's nap at Mom's house.
Solveig and Bill will be spending the balance of their time with Mom. Virgil will join them on Friday in Alex for a day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Girl talk

Jenn and Ford Rolfsrud were reintroduced to Emily Kathleen by her mother, Melissa, this afternoon. Jenn and Ford have been married since July, 2004, almost 3 and one half years. Emily made a good impression on them, looked to be hassle free and easy to care for.

Hey Cousin Max, save some for me!

Our grandchildren, Emily and Max, joined us for breakfast this morning.

Christmas Sox and Candlelight Services

The Al and Becky Jerdee bunch celebrated Christmas Eve in Florida. Read all about it on their blog, linked below left. Becky is Stan's sister.

Monday, December 24, 2007

An Angel Comes to Knox Avenue

Our daughter, Marcelline, lives in Uptown Minneapolis on Knox Ave. with her son, Max. To his delight, for the first time this year they put up a full-size Christmas tree, but came up a bit short in the decorations department. Grandma donated some pieces, but the crowning touch came in the mail from her big sister Missy, as Marcy reports below:

Saved from yuletide embarrassment
in time for the Christmas Eve party

Marcelline received an Angel in the mailbox in a nick of time.

"We were kind of hoping no one would notice the tree top had no crown. But Angel Emily Blethen is perfect for the job," Marcy said, referring to her 19-month-old niece in the photo at right.

Now that the Christmas tree fiasco has cleared up, so has the frightful weather from last night.
Ms. Harrisonfields will stretch her Neilson/Martha Stewart muscles, start up the fire in the kitchen, and make a delightful cranberry/apple bread pudding before she is off to work.
There are many places to go today and, happily, the sun shines brightly. After a day at work, Marcy will buy some corn to pop and apple cider to heat.
"Thanks to the generosity of my boa-wearing Grandmother Rolfsrud," Marcelline smiles, "I feel like I am walking in a winter wonderland."

"Love and Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night."

(Marcy adds: The first one to see two Christmas song references above gets a Christmas kiss -- from Marcy, not Stan)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cousin Erika

Our New York cousin, Erika Rolfsrud, (she's the daughter of our Cousin Arnold Rolfsrud - she's the granddaughter of Halvor and Martha Rolfsrud) a professional actor and coach, has posted holiday greetings on her web site. Go see it. It is an interesting site, full of production photos of some of her past stage roles and some insight into her coaching career.

Or Google her name and all kinds of history comes up. And such a good-looking Rolfsrud. Uff Da.

Here's her new home page greeting:

Hello Website Visitor... Welcome!

So, I've added some new production photos that I hope you enjoy!

And as for coaching... Hey folks! Grad School Auditions are fast approaching... are you ready?! If not, please give me a call! Let's get you ready and in shape with those pieces, to get you into the graduate school of your dreams! And good luck to all!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!!!



Here's an interesting question/answer piece by Robert L. Pela you might enjoy reading.
Published: December 1, 2005
Erika Rolfsrud, Making ' em laugh
She's played Shakespeare festivals and appeared on soap operas and been directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and right now Erika Rolfsrud is appearing all by her lonesome in Arizona Theatre Company's one-woman Bad Dates. Here, she considers rug burns and lazy eyes and the horrors of slow-mo screaming.

Erika Rolfsrud

I knew I wanted to be in show business when I saw Donald O'Connor doing the "Make 'em Laugh" number in Singin' in the Rain. I had rug burns on my shoulder trying to duplicate his dancing.
The worst thing about being an actor is the rejection. You have to train yourself not to take it personally and remember the reason you chose this profession in the first place: You simply love it.
My worst audition ever was for a commercial where we were supposed to scream in slow-mo -- and silently, because the casting director didn't want actors screaming at her all day. Which wasn't so bad until the casting director gave me notes on my technique for silent, slow-mo screaming, then had me do it over and over again. Nothing like being asked to do something ridiculous and then told you aren't doing it right.
The happiest day in my life was meeting my nephew William the first time. (Second happiest: meeting his siblings, Ben and Grace.)
If I could be anyone other than myself, it would be no one. Just me. I guess all that therapy's paying off . . .
It's not entirely true, but I sometimes tell people that I grew up in Seattle, when I actually grew up in Bellevue, just east of Seattle.
The fictional character I am most like is Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovich books. We have a similar sense of humor, gullibility, and propensity for clumsiness.
I am utterly terrified of snakes.
My worst bad date was a blind date. Literally. My pal who set us up said, "He does have a lazy eye. But it's only noticeable when he's tired." I went on the date and he must've been pretty damn tired!
The one thing I absolutely refuse to do on stage is gratuitous nudity. It takes the audience right out of the story. And I'm a modest person -- not so good at flashin' The Girls for the heck of it.
Something I have never admitted to anyone before is . . . I'm not telling you!
Currently I am reading The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho.
The first time I got drunk, I threw up. But first I did that sobbing, laughing, "I love you, man!" routine.
Appearing onstage all alone for 90 minutes is one of the greatest challenges I've ever faced professionally, and one of the most rewarding.
Like my mother used to say, [whenever I dressed sloppily for church] "Well, God's seen you in worse. Let's go!"

Over the river and through the woods

Our friends from The Chicago in Minneapolis braved the elements this morning to join us for breakfast. Always helpful, Jeff and Melissa Blumenshine assisted Danny in setting up his fancy thermostat recently. We enjoy their company very much. Driving out was tricky for them today as the wind, ice and snow are proving that winter is here for real.

Our rude shelter for Jesus

Twenty-five years ago Kathleen wanted to express the true origins of Christmas in a traditional way. As she looked about for a suitable nativity scene, Stan noticed the price tags on some of the better stables Kathleen was eyeing. Not wishing to crassly throw cold water on this tender moment, Stan said he could make one to give her instead. She held him to it, and soon up from the workshop came this scrappy resting place for the Baby Jesus. After all these years, the angel still hovers on a 16-penny finish nail, and Mary and Joseph look on approvingly. It is no gift from the magi, but it has taken on a special meaning, and there is no Christmas at our house without it.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dashing through the snow. . .

Little red-nosed Anja Erickson recently took her family on a walk through the tree farm to pick out just the right one. Details are on the Erik and Shana blog, linked below.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

M&M finish tree with pride

Daughter Marcelline reports from Uptown:

A successful tree decorating.

After an evening of Max entertaining a young lady named Catherine (making homemade ornaments out of cookie dough), and getting some hand-me-down ornaments from the Rolfsruds, our tree looks beautiful. Closeup shot at right.

Much better than spending the evening on homework.

Joy to all,
Marcelline and Max
(who are not opening their presents early)

Garden Club Girls Agape at $59 floor

The monthly meeting of the Ladies Who Lunch was called to order at 11:30 today in the party room at the Chicago Lofts. Present were Kathleen Rolfsrud and M'liss Switzer.

Laboring three floors below was Kathleen's husband, putting the finishing touches on the $59 marble floor, about to be inspected by the two pals upstairs.

The ladies had chosen take out items from the Mid-town Global Market downstairs, carried the boxes to the 14th floor, and relaxed in the solitude of the comfortable glass room, admiring the view of downtown, wrapped today in a soft blanket of fog. They bused their own trays.

Eventually the pair made their way downstairs, just as the last coat of polyurethane dried. They enthusiastically approved the new fake marble floor, pumping Stan with oohs and ahhs. A decision was made on the spot to extend the project into the media room. And why not, at these prices?

Then the duo indulged Stan by posing for a photo behind the bars of the antique door we dragged here from Tucson and mounted in the hallway. It blends nicely with the new floor, don't you think?

Later tonight, our good neighbors from the 11th floor, Melissa and Jeff, dropped in to see the work. Jeff took a closer look to see if there was really tile on the floor, wondering who would foolishly lug 3-foot square chunks of stone upstairs. Stan was delighted by his deception.

Jeff and Melissa helped Danny get the heat straightened out the other day... the fancy chip-driven controller is beyond the ability of most homeowners. Ours was still in the air-condition mode, and try as he might, Danny couldn't get the room above 65. Thank goodness for good neighbors. Jeff studied the cook book and now it's toasty. Jeff and Melissa are coming to our house in Shakopee for breakfast on Sunday. We look forward to continuing our conversation with this interesting young couple.

How cold is it?

Colder than a smile on stone frog lips. . .

Californians Sosie and Bill Shearer have expressed some angst about their upcoming Christmas trip to Minnesota. Sister Linda has suggested Sosie should remain calm; they do keep the roads plowed here, the former Colorado resident advises.

For our part, we'll provide objective information. This fine pair of stone frogs stands about two feet tall in our back yard. The sculpture was a gift from Sosie and Bill, who thought it just the thing for our garden.

While it is true that the frog riding piggyback is barely above the drift-line, the real message here is that, snuggled together, they just continue to smile, no matter what. Welcome to Minnesota, Sosie and Bill.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stan's $59 marble floor

Three quarts of latex paint (rust, beige, brown): $30
Two rolls of blue tape: $8
One gallon water-based polyurethane: $21

For the past four days Stan has been driving downtown to install a floor in the condo hallway and one bedroom. Tomorrow is the final phase, light sanding, then application of the last hardshell coat of polyurethane. It is very promising. More details if we like it. Still early to tell.

Tough duty

Greetings from the Underwoods
(Amy Underwood is Becky Rolfsrud Jerdee's daughter -- these are Becky's grandchildren)
We are leaving for Florida tomorrow.
We wish all of the Rolfsruds a warm and safe holiday season and an exciting new year.
The Underwoods - Amy, Dave, Hunter and Blake

Dawn greeting

My old-fashioned neighbor Tom had a box of old-fashioned multi-colored tree lights that you just don't see any more. Everybody is buying the latest thing -- energy efficienct, hallucinogenic, single color Chinese mini-bulbs. Not Tom. He strung up his old Christmas lights on a golf course pine in the back yard, put it on an early morning and late night timer, and we've been enjoying all month. Thanks Tom.