Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Here's part of her note:
Long time since you've heard from me. Everything is fine here and life is good. I have been reading and enjoying the Rolfsrud blog. So many nice pictures and comments.
It's so nice to see pictures of you and learn what you are up to. I remember with great pleasure our visit with you several years ago. Hopefully Beate and I will be able to repeat our journey some time, and see you again.
I hope you are all in good health and are not freezing too much. We have had a nice Christmas weather with around 0 degrees C and sunny with little wind. No snow now, but we had a few centimeters last month with icy roads and cold winds.
Unni and Beate do very well with their English, so in recognition of that we offer the following tribute to them, "I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve," sung by Rev. Ron Letnes and the renowned Rolfsrud Family Singers at our recent holiday party. Our Norwegian is horrible, but our hearts are pure. One minute, 20 seconds. No alcohol involved.
The Blaine couple feted a fine bunch of family for a post-Christmas buffet. Lots of fun and laughs, we got to see Becky Jerdee's decorating touches, Anja was there with her four grandparents, but not her Mom and Dad -- Erik and Shana had an event elsewhere.
Paul and Ron got the guitars out later in the evening and after some smashing versions of Away in a Manger, Silent Night and Ja Er So Glaa, and so on the group was treated to Ron's imitation of Bob Dylan singing "Oh the Times, They are a'Changin" which he explained Dylan had sung recently in honor of the new president.
Ron's rendition was Dylanesque and nasal, but also sort of country-western, causing one wag to cruelly observe: "I didn't know Bob Dylan ever sang on Hee Haw."
The rowdy crowd dispersed early into the cold dark night. The Californian, still fighting a cold after her week with Mom, needed an escort down I-35 for her night in Shakopee with Stan and Kathleen.
Steve and Nancy shared in the retelling of the excitement later on: We had a two-hour Skype conversation with them before finally calling it quits. Today Sosie see her classmates at noon then flies out on the Redeye after her exciting Holiday week in Minnesota.
The rest of the family? Becky J. and Al are with their family in Florida; Virgil and Becky Lynn are driving to an undisclosed location in a warmer climate.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tom can do taxes. We figured he can probably handle spa chemistry. We were right. Tom earned his spa doctorate today after demonstrating proficiency at dumping chemicals, lifting lids and running water pumps.
Tom and Sandy head to Cozumel next week, but they'll be back in time to take over spa duties and hopefully enjoy a few starlit evenings in it before we return from Tucson.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Just visit her web site at http://www.ruralroutebookstore.com/ to see what is still available in Suzann's book shed in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She's the original Church Basement Lady turned playwright turned entrepreneur.
While many Rolfsrud books are out of print, there are a few still available: Gopher Tales for Papa, Notable North Dakotans, Boy From Johnny Butte, Cutbank Girl, Petticoat Pioneer, Stone Johnny School, Girl of the Tumbleweeds, and others.
Just click on the link (above -- or in the margin below) and look for "Novels and Stories," and soon you'll find delightful descriptions of each book.
But wait, there's more:
If you act now, you can enjoy and display any of these books in your home for the low, low price of $7, plus shipping. Don't delay, Suzann is standing by in her shed way up north in Judy Garland's frozen hometown, but she can't wait on you forever. She's got jello to chill for the church supper.
This is most certainly true.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas Eve day was perfect--sunny, 60's, no wind. Played golf at The Preserve with virtually no one else there to slow us down so played eighteen holes in 3 hours and 15 minutes. My golfing partner, who is from California and summers in the New Mexico mountains, and has played at Pebble Beach, The Broadmoor and Mirabel in Scottsdale, said The Preserve is the best of the lot when it comes to the surrounding scenery.
Then it was off to Christmas Eve services at the Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterians gave it their best on the Christmas Carols but they are no Lutherans.
Nancy is now reading her fifth book since arriving. I am on the fifth CHAPTER of my FIRST book. We know who the valedictorian is in the group.
Merry Christmas to all.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
(Photo by Katie. . . who also makes a very nice dessert)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
It has received about 1,500 visits so far from people interested in hearing this favorite in sacred classic.
Today a foreign visitor left a comment, I believe it was someone listening to Mom, perhaps in France. Don't speak French. Do you? If you do, please translate the passage below. I know it involves something beautiful, because Belle Plaine, Minnesota means "beautiful plain." I also know "Bravo" but that's all I've got. Here's the posting:
"Quelle belle voix dans cet air de cantate de Bach BWV 68 et quel merveilleux album de famille. C'est un bel hommage de sa famille à Beverly Brown Rolfsud. Bravo"
J'etude francais deus annui en ecole. I haven't forgotten much of what I learned in French class. I just didn't learn enough to forget. Most of the words in that statement are what they look like in English.
"Quelle (what) belle (beautiful) voix (voice) dans ? cet ? air (air, in the musical way) de (of) cantate (cantata) de (of,to) Bach BWV 68 et (and) quel (another form of what) merveilleux (marvellous?) album (album) de (to) famille (family). C'est (It's) un (a) bel (short of beautiful, maybe "nice") hommage (homage) de (to) sa (the) famille (family) à (of) Beverly Brown Rolfsud. Bravo"
For what it's worth. Je ne compra 'pa francais tres bien.
This week, Don's grandsons laid a wreath on Col. Don Brown's grave site at Arlington, in memory of this inspirational figure.
Alex received his Eagle Scout award two days after his grandfather died. Don was very proud of "his Scouts."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Here's your Greeting Card from us. It's Missy singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in 1989. We were celebrating "Used Christmas." Names had been drawn and everyone had been told to wrap and bring a favorite used item to pass on to another extended family member. This particular regimen was preferred over "Cut-throat Christmas" which had been attempted previously with mixed results. Sharp-eyed viewers will see a toddling Breck and Briggs, Virg opening a gift of pants for his infant son (Alex is in college now), Mom and Dad yucking it up, Adam, Amy, Becky and Al, the girls, Daisy and much, much more. And all in 60 seconds. Use the pause button to freeze a frame you like. And have a Merry Little Christmas.
Monday, December 15, 2008
She's heading our way on Christmas Day from sunny California. Brother Virg, who returned to a frozen North from Florida just a week ago, has already enviously applauded Sosie for her timing, deftly avoiding the plunging thermometer.
He's assuming, of course, that Minnesota can't deal a double whammy.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Forecast for Shakopee, Minnesota: Monday, Hi: 5°, Lo: -10°; Tuesday, Hi: 10°, Lo: -5°; Wednesday, Hi: 15°, Lo: 0°; Thursday, Hi: 20°, Lo: 7°; Friday, Hi: 20°, Lo: 2°; Saturday, Hi: 10°, Lo: --° (apparently even the weather bureau doesn't dare mention Saturday's low).
There's obviously still some work to be done here.
It is high time for a declaration that climate change could, in fact, be good for somebody, particularly when operating under the prevailing philosophy, "I have my pile, now get your own" and "What's good for me is what's good for the country."
The good news is that today our Muslim friends are loading tankers with billions in subsidized oil and, deterred only by the occasional African pirate, are rushing them to our desperate shores in hopes of nipping this T. Boone Pickens idea of energy independence and green industry in the bud. Furthermore, you can now buy one SUV and get the second one for free. The Holiday is offering low-tax gas for a dollar and change and if you buy groceries at Cub you can get another six cents off that.
What more do you need, friends? Let's get with the program.
Tom Obert writes from Lake Darling in Alexandria:
Friday, December 12, 2008
Some small-world discoveries: Curt, in the lower right hand corner, has a 15-year-old in the Shakopee school tennis program, coached by Stan's nephew, Ford. The young man in the upper right hand corner, Tim, now a PGA pro, was a school chum of Stan's nephew, Aaron (Double A), at Eden Prairie.