Sunday, September 28, 2008

Be off to the festival

Our Jennifer stopped by today on her way to the last day of the Renaissance Festival. She arrived in a mini-van chock full of co-celebrants from Lake City, her present abode. The festival markets fun, food and cleavage. We note with some reserve that our daughter is making a contribution to that end . . . though she did pay full price at the gate.

Happy Birthday, Virg!

May you shoot par every day!
We believe this photo was taken in Tucson last winter moments after Virg shot a 72 on a Saddlebrooke golf course. But Rolfsrud statisticians, with their requisite memory issues, are befuddled on details.

Will someone immediately confirm this? Please. You know how Virg hates an inaccurate statement. We're proud just to remember his birthday.
Okay. We looked it all up on the blog. Here's the file quote from last January:
Tucson: Sunday, January 20, 2008
Brothers Steve and Stan congratulated Virgil Rolfsrud today on his score of 72 -- an even par on the Ranch Golf Course near Tucson. Virg's irons were deadly today, as he stiffed green after green with precision.
Virg has shot par before, but today was special because this is the first time both his brothers witnessed it. Our foursome was filled out by Dick Robertson -- who shot an 83. Steve and Stan's scores were not available in time for this posting.
Virgil was one under for most of the day, until a bogey on no. 18. After the round, St. Paul Katie treated her boys to her famous homemade macaroni and cheese, chicken and salad -- followed by skinny cow desserts

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Big score for Amy Underwood at Bday

Stan's niece, Amy Underwood, apparently took down a haul today at her birthday celebration in Des Moines. Here's a photo of Hunter's birthday card; and you can see that husband Dave dug deep for his wife's special day. Catch all the action at the Jerdee/Underwood blog, linked at left.

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Happy Birthday, Amy.
Amy is the daughter of Becky and Al and lives in Des Moines with her husband, Dave, and two sons. Their family blog is linked below.
She is Stan's niece.

Friday, September 26, 2008

So much to celebrate! It's golden!

On a beautiful September Friday, exactly 28 years ago today, Stan and Kathleen, along with three excited young girls, drove over to Chanhassen's Lake Ann Park and got married.
When your birthday falls on the same day as your age, it is your "golden" birthday. Since this is a Friday, and we got married on a Friday, Stan thought this might qualify as a "golden" wedding anniversary.
For this observation, he received a big laugh from his bride.
She does agree this is a happy day; we'll go to Chanhassen all over again just to see if the leaf bouquet still welcomes us there.
Last night, just before midnight, the Minnesota Twins slipped into first place, sweeping the hated Chicago White Sox, and putting an extra storybook glow on everything.
It is a golden day to be with the one you love.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

LWL, Northern Chapter, files brunch report

Bev Roers Korkowski, Unit Publicity Chair, reports:

The Northern Chapter of Ladies Who Lunch (in this case, brunch) met up at the Coon Rapids' Panera this morning over "breakfast sandwiches" to catch up on the very busy summers we both had. We had a couple hours before we each ran off to our long list of errands, in Linda's case, getting ready to do the "Turkey Trot" to Istanbul on Saturday. She's excited about their 4+ weeks of vacation, and I am a bit envious!! So, we'll meet up again upon her return to compare our Turkey experiences.

From the hinterland, Bev

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"And furthermore. . .

my position continues to be that if we invest $700 billion in toxic mortgages, the CEOs should get Mr. Yuk stickers on their parachutes. Where do you stand on this, Joey? Am I talking too much?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hold the calls, we have a winner!

Linda guessed it, Mom was playing:
Which dress did I wear to YOUR wedding?
Mom kept all the dresses that she wore to her children's weddings. One day in the 80s she trotted them all out and asked us to guess which one she wore to each wedding.
Can you guess? Here's a start: The blue one was worn to Steve and Nancy's.
Dad also got into the act. (He usually did.) He modeled a coat (left) that he wore to a wedding. (His own??)

In the top photo, that's Mom and Marcy with our dear Jeni, Virg's late wife.

Ladies lunch in Edina; love surroundings

The Ladies Who Lunch met and laughed a lot at the Cheesecake Factory in Edina today at their September meeting (Sorry about August, the ladies met, but neglected to provide a photo). It was a 4 and a half hour lunch. The food was excellent, but the raves came from the surroundings.
"I couldn't get over it," Kathleen gushed. "Anybody who hasn't been there, needs to go there."
It is attached to the Southdale Mall and faces 69th Street. Kathleen and M'liss ate two appetizers for lunch. There's a huge menu, moderately priced, ($10 each for their appetizers today) and Kathleen is thinking of changing Friday's Wedding Anniversary Venue (our 28th) from the usual Tony Roma's to the Cheesecake Factory. We'll see.
Today's important business included poker, trips, kids and politics. Old business was Chuck and Stan.

Sosie's in; doesn't have it figured just yet.

Sosie writes:
Great game! I don't remember the game, but I still have the shirt I am wearing in the picture, so I did retain something. We seem to be looking at cards, so I will concentrate on that and maybe regain something before the end of the day.

Memory test

What is Beverly Rolfsrud doing in this early 80s photo? She is setting up a fun guessing game -- and it's not charades. In the foreground, you see Virg and Nancy; Zakk, Sosie and Steve are on the couch; Becky and Linda are on the piano bench; Jeni, Marcy and Dad are waiting in the wings, Steve and Ford are enjoying the extremely plush carpet at the Farwell home.
The question: what is the guessing game Mom wants to play?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Prototype revealed

His hearing is excellent, his eyesight is correctable to 20/20, and he can still smell a rat, but modern science has done absolutely nothing for his disability: the heartbreak of crooked fingers. Until now. Thanks to a breakthrough in prosthetic engineering, our brother Steve may soon be able to overcome the monstrous challenge of interdigital spasticity.
In the photo, above, he examines the device that may ultimately return coordination and motor skills to his athletic lifestyle, enabling him to once again effectively dribble a basketball or even sink a birdie putt.

Put us squarely in his corner.

Blake Underwood is Seven!

See the Jerdee/Underwood blog at left.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mike's last portage

When Mike Eames died ten years ago, his heirs sent Stan his box of slides of their week-long adventure in the Canadian wilderness. Mike was a lot older than Paul, Dick and Stan. The outdoors writer wanted to make one last tour of the Quetico, so the 20-somethings obliged him for his luck and sagacity. He provided both, as well as a meticulously-documented slide show with tiny notes inked on them.

Mike didn't carry canoes over the portages, but he pitched in on everything else. The photo below, right, was staged at his request. He wanted bragging rights, and everyone thought that was a great idea. He grinned all afternoon.

Today Stan digitized 100 slides and hopes to make a little movie of them soon.

Stan was dating Kathleen at the time. She sent along her famous baked beans recipe, raw beans and spices with the woodsmen. Three days in, Stan prepared them over an open campfire, simmering and smelling them all day long, and getting rave reviews as the sun settled over Canada's Lake Agnes.

It was Sunday Lake where we fought the forest fire. . . but that's a story for another day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Joey, meet Emily

It's been more than two years, but our granddaughter finally got to meet the neighbor's grandson. Today Joey (Tom and Sandy's grandson) and Emily got acquainted, blew some bubbles, pushed scooters, ate some goldfish and generally hung out in the front yard, while grandparents around the cul-de-sac looked on.

Emily and Joey are about the same age (28 months) and Joey comes to visit his grandparents a lot, but somehow the two have never met, until today. A bright-sunlit day provided a perfect back drop. We would have made a movie, but Murphy's Lawnmower Law, the one guiding our faithful lawn service, dictates that whenever we want to do something fun outdoors, they show up immediately with their small engines, high-power weed whips and gasoline-turbine leaf blowers. The ear-splitting din continues for a couple of hours. Today was no exception.

Others attending included Joey's Mom Holly, who carried another son, Barrett, 5 months, in a tummy pack; Joe, our retired neighbor from California; and Joe, the grandson of neighbors John and Mary Gerken.

That's right, Joe, Joe and Joey, all hanging out in Emily's driveway today.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A loving bride writes to her soldier. . .

March 1945

Dear Len,
..... Danny and Mary Lou are going to Dorothy Bock's birthday party tomorrow and that means a little present.

The [Lommen] twins have had the chicken pox so I hope my kids don't get it from them. They're over it now because their [quarantine] sign was taken down. Mary Lou and Danny didn't get it last year from the Bocks when they had it, so maybe they're immune from it. I hope so, because I don't want Kathy and Jimmy to get it when they're so young.

Ordered my meat last Tuesday, so that's taken care of.

Well darling, I'm going to close for now and will go up and smoke a cigarette and look out the window at the moon. I wish you were here so I could love you up. Good night and sweet dreams.

Your Florence

(Excerpted from a bushel of letters Kathleen sorted this morning after breakfast. Kathleen's mom and dad exchanged hand-written mail regularly while he served in the Army during World War II.)

Farm Report

Crops are mostly harvested on the Rolfsrud farm in western North Dakota, according to patriarchal leader, Harold Rolfsrud. Just about 200 acres of safflower left to combine, and some hay bales to gather. Crops were "good," according to Harold. Of course, farmers never say great, or fantastic or bountiful, so maybe good is as good as it gets. We hope so.
We shared frustration at the trivialization and debasement of the national election debate, with no discussion of what actually needs to be done with this great country of ours.
The massive drilling rig has been moved off the homestead pad and trucked about 20 miles away to the Badlands and immediately put back to work. A smaller working rig has replaced it, squeezing sand and water into the hole a mile below grandma and grandpa's homestead, fracturing the oily shale.
Recent rains made the countryside reawaken, so the prairie now wears a verdant hue. The kids are back in school, yesterday grandsons Josh and Cole scrimmaged the Beulah football team, God is in heaven and all is right in his world.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's a Girl!

Ford and Jenn learned yesterday that they'll be having a girl. Check out all the details of the doctor visit at the Ford and Jenn blog, linked at left.
Congratulations! We can hardly wait.
And while you're surfing around, check out Stan's new video on the Alexandria boomers site below. It rocks!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New features on Rolfsruds & Friends blog

By popular demand, two new features have been added to the blog.
1. The Family Blog monitor. This keeps track of any updates that may have been made recently on selected blogs so you won't miss any breaking news. If you would like a blog added to this list, please contact the

2. The Click-on Home Movies. These are some of Stan's homemade YouTube movies that have already appeared on this blog. If you want to play one again, just click on the title in the left hand margin.
Here to serve you better every day, the friendly folks at Rolfsruds & Friends.

Hunter loses it

Hunter Underwood turned eight over the weekend, had a big celebration then lost a tooth. "It's great to be eight," they say on the Jerdee/Underwood blog, linked at left.

Archival footage unearthed in Black Hills

Fifteen years ago, Kathleen had never been to North Dakota, America's least visited state. So when an invitation came to the 1993 Brown Family Reunion (Mom's side) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, we made a big tour out of it, going through both the Dakotas. That was back when you could get gasoline for $1 a gallon.
Here's a short clip from that trip. You'll see two late Aunts on the Rolfsrud side, Hanna Weltzin and Agnes Veeder, showing Kathleen the family graveyard at the Clear Creek church. (They liked Kathleen right away. She carried a purse from a garage sale.)
Then there's a clip from an old movie Nancy Clary showed us when we eventually got to Rapid City. She projected a 1958 home movie on a screen and Stan did what he could to capture it on his video camera. It shows all the vacationing family members (a bored Becky) as well as Paul and Jessie Brown, our grandparents. It has now been transferred to a digital file and last night Stan edited it down to two minutes.
Hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Rockin' the Bakken

The Brits have discovered the oil boom in western North Dakota. This is an interesting story and video demonstrating the values of the natives. The Brits have also discovered that North Dakotans like women with big butts. That's in the video too.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Somewhere, on a lake near Alexandria

Stan's Shakopee neighbor and a guide netted a dozen muskellunge monsters yesterday and Thursday at a secret location in Alexandria.
Derek, above, says the catch of muskies measured a variety of lengths, most between 48 and 52 inches, and weighed between 30 and 40 pounds each. They were all carefully released. Stan, who has just finished carrying one dozen 40-pound bags of system-saver salt to his basement water softener, was impressed by the fish photos and the size of the massive catch. Derek was impressed that Stan was able to immediately guess the name of the mystery Alexandria lake, and was quickly sworn to secrecy. It would now require at least a bottle of single malt scotch to disclose the location.
Derek's guide was Jason Hammernick, well-known Mille Lacs area sportsman and nimrod.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dad would have been 96 today

Photo by Al Jerdee
Stan's father, Erling Rolfsrud, died in 1994. Above, he read to his first grandchild, Amy Jo Jerdee, circa 1973. Amy Jo Underwood has her own family now. Check out their latest adventures on the Jerdee blog, linked below.

Grandparent story #173

We were cruising down I-94 this fine September morning. We had just purchased new shoes at Nordstrom's for our 2-year-old and the freeway traffic around the Mall of America was flowing nicely. Strapped in her backseat perch, Emily was enjoying the souvenir balloon that the wise retailer had provided.
Eventually, of course, the balloon drifted away from her grasp and into the very back of the SUV.
"Grandma!" she notified Kathleen in the front passenger seat. "Balloon!"
"Oh, Emily," grandma explained as the cars whizzed past. "We'll get the balloon when we stop."
Normally, this would have satisfied her. But she's 28 months old now.
"Grandpa!" she yelled from the back. "STOP!"

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

To the digs

Grandson Maxwell Tong, 14 in October, left for Colorado with his classmates today to study archeology. His Mom, Marcy, and Dad, Hoi (pictured), were there to put him on the bus.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A heads-up from a Dallas bookworm

Lorlee Bartos writes:


I am reading "The Plague of Doves" by Louise Erdrich. And there on Page 16 is the following: "In Erling Nicolai Rolfsrud's compendium of memorable women and men from North Dakota ...." and then the author goes on to describe "Mustache Maud Black."

You probably already knew this -- but if not, -- wanted to be sure that you saw it.


Thanks, Lorlee. No. Somehow "The Plague of Doves" is not on my reading list so I would have missed this passage entirely. Thanks for the heads up. Mustache Maud. Hmm. A woman with a mustache. How extraordinary.
Fondly, Stan