Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Last night a computer called and said "this product must be signed for" and told us to expect the UPS delivery "between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m."
We anticipate yet another on-time delivery.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Here's some news from tropical southern Minnesota:
Bailey Breck Rolfsrud is engaged to marry Mitchell Wallerstedt! They just got engaged an hour or so ago. (Mitch had previously requested permission of us so it was not entirely a surprise.)
A little bit about the engaged couple:
Breck just finished her first year at Hamline Law School.
Mitch is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with a double major in computer management information systems and philosophy (no such combination in any previous Rolfsrud that we know of).
Mitch is employed by Minnesota State University, Mankato in the IT department as a Desktop Support Specialist, Information Technology Specialist II, which means he knows a lot more about computers than the rest of us.
He recently was recognized for his stellar work efforts by receiving the 2008 Achievement Award (which even came with some additional compensation).
Steve and Nancy are both excited about the announcement.
No wedding date has been set.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
This morning Kathleen brought home a wheeled toy and Emily for the day. Our neighbor Joe, the native Californian who retired to Minnesota because he was in love, watched the goings on and soon he and Emily got acquainted and bonded.
We shot an hour of stuff just as it happened, then cut it tight to 4 minutes. So please indulge the grandparents and click on our video. Emily's having her nap now. She'll watch it when she gets up.
Don't let Al Franken steal your spotlight, Adam, it's his birthday too. He's running for Senate up here in Minnesota.
Happy Birthday, Adam.
And, as always, best wishes to his wife, Kim.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Our two-story walkout perched on the edge of a ravine. A small fenced back yard provided an exercise area for our little black poodle, Daisy. Kathleen would carefully monitor this yard with a plastic shovel, tossing any discoveries randomly over the fence to spread down over the ravine, where it would recycle in nature’s way of dealing with this kind of thing. Very ecological, very convenient. But we had no idea at the time of all the benefits.
Our next door neighbor didn’t have a dog, but he did have raccoons. He fought as diligently as Sosie did. But no amount of bungee cords, lights or devices would keep those 'coons off his back deck. The marauders intruded constantly in a way we thought most comical, because right next door we never had a problem with raccoons violating our turf. We had no idea why this was, until we thought about it years later.
Daisy never weighed more than eight pounds and was certainly no match for a raccoon. But apparently her ever-freshened widely-scattered patch of business cards packed a very powerful message to would-be interlopers.
The second equally curious document was what was known as a "letter," written in September of 1993, before its use was replaced by email. The letter uses the same alphabet as email, so it was easy to translate. (Click to see exquisite detail) It contains an all-time favorite story written by Sosie to her siblings. It is repeated below. The letter, along with the commendation, will be saved as artifacts.
Sept. 8, 1993
All goes well here and my battle with the raccoons continues. When we got back from vacation, the pond and patio area looked like a war zone. So we hooked up the electric fence around the pond. At midnight I checked and saw six raccoon, ambling peacefully in and around the pond and electric fence. So I called Bill to see our ineffectiveness. By the time he got downstairs, they had wandered over to the oak tree. When we walked around the deck near them, they came running down the hill TO us. So Bill got his pellet gun again. Stood four or five feet from them and hit each one until it walked away.
Then yesterday my Yard Guard came in the mail. This is a device that emits high frequency sounds that are supposed to make these creatures uncomfortable. The brochure says that it may take a little while to retrain the animals. Well, I guess. Last night they unplugged the device. They are never going to learn anything if they do that!
Monday, May 19, 2008
We mentioned earlier that the Norwegians over at sister Linda's also had a big hoop-ti-do, and you can see that on the Erickson blog.
So Sosie, when do your Mohicans loosen up?
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
If you want to know about horse racing, see Kathleen, a Swede. She took her big brother to the Shakopee track today to view the Preakness and to bet on the live races.
As she left the house, Stan sagely advised her to put money down on Big Brown, because that's Mom's maiden name. All very scientific, don't you know.
Brown won, but of course everybody else bet on that horse too, so it didn't pay out much. $2.40 on a $2 bet. Now Brown is vying for the Triple Crown on June 7.
Kathleen did score some other winners, but that is to be expected. A few years back, she hawked pink tip sheets at the track for two bucks apiece. She competed with Jake Mauer, who sold his own green tip sheet right along side her, as the patrons entered the gates of Canterbury Downs. Jake is Joe Mauer's granddad and he still handicaps the ponies, but he's not at the track so much anymore. He's got other fish to fry at the Twins ballpark.
(For those of you who don't know, Joe Mauer is the catcher for the Minnesota Twins and won the major league batting title last year. We saw him do it in the metrodome, going 3 for 5 on his final day of the regular season, besting the Yankee contender, Derek Jeter, and somebody else. This singular achievement is all well and good, but Joe is from Kathleen's hometown, which alone had already elevated him to sainthood.)
Kathleen won some money at the track yesterday. Didn't say how much. Hope it is enough for Sunday breakfast.
Her brother will be eating peanut butter sandwiches all week.
The couple have a summer cottage on Lake Darling in Alexandria. Congratulations go to the entire family of over-achievers.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Also see the dry comments from the locals who saw the report.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Stan was lathering up for a quick shave when the phone rang and it was Guy over at the Flying Cloud Airport, looking for a playmate or at least a lunch. Guy is the son of our North Dakota cousin, Harold Rolfsrud. Guy lives with his family on a lake by Cottonwood, near Granite Falls, and is a charter pilot for an executive flying service. So, occasionally, when he has time to waste during a Minneapolis turnaround, he gives Stan a call.
Guy was immediately told that he was interfering with a finely-tuned schedule, and that mother would be informed of this fact, but he just went right on talking anyway.
He was talking up Mom's oil well in North Dakota so there really was no good reason to cut him off prematurely. Mom would want to know this. Guy says he knows nothing about the situation, so that makes his story all the more interesting as speculation and imagination are thus permitted to run wild. This it did. With oil at $120 a barrel and with a wellhead potentially yielding 200 barrels a day, it becomes very important to know what your share of all this could be. Which no one knows, of course. It boggles.
Mom did admit to having some anxiety about our late arrival when Stan and Kathleen showed up at the Clearwater Suites fifteen minutes late, despite having taken advantage of the secret Osakis cutoff. Actually, Mom thought we were a full hour and fifteen minutes late, apparently having slipped off daylight savings time momentarily.
She was patiently awaiting us in the stuffed and striped hallway chair outside her room and we felt horribly guilty as we trudged up the incline, baskets and coolers and gifts in hand.
Before we had a chance to blame our tardy arrival on her nephew's son, we were introduced to her neighbor, two doors down. Well, not exactly introduced, because no one could remember her name. But Evelyn quickly supplied it and we all laughed about how much trouble we have recalling the easiest things.
Then Nola, the next door neighbor, pulled up. That name was easily remembered because of a fantastic memory hook: She is the former proprietor of Nola's Ark, a pontoon restaurant that once plied the mighty waters of Alexandria's Lobster Lake.
"Are you the oldest one?" Nola asked Stan. "No, but I am the oldest boy," he replied with a smile.
Mom was ready to eat as soon as we got there, but first we had some gifts to open. This done, we proceeded to the outdoor courtyard with the cooler and basket. We gathered some chairs, spread Danny's checkerboard tablecloth, and put down plates and lunch, all the while realizing our rapid movements were creating some buzz behind the many courtyard windows.
Nola ambulated herself out to our table to say a few things. Kathleen had an extra sandwich and we invited her to stay. She couldn't stay, she said, because she hadn't signed out. Stan spotted the friendly face of an attendant at the courtyard door.
"I am so sorry," he said to her, " But I cannot remember your name." It was Peggy, of course, he had met her many times before, and now she happily excused Nola to join us for lunch. Then Peggy took the formal group photo for the family and friends blog.
The four of us sat remarking on the lovely weather this rare day in May. Mom chuckled and talked oil business, trying her best to remember the name of the other farmers on that section of land by the old place homesteaded by Stan's grandparents. We talked about Leo, a family friend who had had a chain saw accident on our farm and was friends recently with Mom at the Suites. Did Mom say he had passed on? Stan remembers every minute of that terrible day after the tornado, but he couldn't remember Leo's last name.
Nola asked if Stan was the oldest one. "No," Mom said. "But he is the biggest."
We sat, genuinely enjoying the sweet company in the warming, breezy courtyard. Life is good at the Clearwater, we agreed. Nola confessed to being a bit lonely now, but accepted that as part of life's challenges. It is hard for old friends to come by often as she would like them to, she remarked.
We agreed. It takes eight hours and a tank of gas just to have a two-hour lunch with Mom, we said. It is sad, but these things do make a difference. Mom mentioned how fortunate she was to have her companion, Michelle. As soon as dessert was cleared, in walks Peggy and.... Denise. (It is Denise, right?) They brought fresh desserts from the cafeteria: a square of brownies, a bright red cherry and a dot of ice cream. Mom said she'd save hers in her mini-fridge. Stan wolfed his.
We retired inside, putting the courtyard back exactly as it had been. Kathleen took a picture of Nola's Ark, framed in Nola's room, near the handmade Lobster Lake dish towel stitchery.
"Are you the oldest one?" Nola asked Stan. "No, but I am the smartest one," he replied, proud of his best response of the day.
Mom looked a tad tuckered, while claiming that visitors don't tire her and that it doesn't matter if she misses her nap. We stayed on.
Mom's getting all wound up for an 88th Birthday on May 23, conveniently just one day before Kathleen's birthday. Convenient, because it makes it so easy for Stan to remember it.
We visited a while in Mom's room, trying to remember to speak softly to Mom and loudly to Nola.
For some reason, Mom wanted to talk about this man. This man had helped build the Farwell house. He was a very nice man. He worked with Bud Chan. "Oh, I know who you mean," Stan said. "He was a hero to Darrell Williams. Darrell was always talking about him. What was his name?"
"Yes," Mom said, "He didn't have children. I just can't remember his name. Darn." Frustration hung heavy. We just wanted to remember the name.
"It will come. It will come," Stan comforted Mom. "Yes, I know," she nodded, "but you will be gone."
"Have Michelle email me the name when you get it," Stan suggested.
On the way out, we stopped briefly at the manager's office. Doris guessed all the male names that might fit. No match.
It wasn't until Stan and Kathleen were half past New Munich that it came.
"Ed Prchal. Ed Prchal. It was Ed Prchal." It just felt so good to say it, a sensation of redemption that all is not lost, that there are still active memory fragments.
"Yes, so what about it," Kathleen asked. "What did your mother want to say about him?"
"I have no idea. But I remembered the name."
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Beverly Rolfsrud and her daughter-in-law, Kathleen, enjoyed a chuckle over picnic lunch today at the Clearwater Suites in Alexandria. Sunny skies prevailed with an amazing noon time temperature of exactly 72 perfect degrees. The picnic basket carried chicken salad sandwiches, assorted fruit, white cheddar cheetos and Arizona iced tea from Shakopee. Oh yes, a bite of lemon cake dessert too, of course.
I asked Kathleen to bake you a birthday cake last night because she makes a really great cake. Then I got busy at the clubhouse and I came in kind of late. I would have brought the cake over then, but I forgot. Anyway, this morning we are heading to Alexandria to have a picnic lunch in the courtyard with my mother at the Clearwater Suites. Use the secret password on the garage door and let yourself in. The cake is in the fridge.
(Leave the beer.)
Sunday, May 04, 2008
This tool came in very handy yesterday for mapping out the irregular shape of our marble counter top. You just sort of bend it freely as you go along. It is just stiff enough to stay in place while you mark off the curve with a pencil.