Sunday, September 30, 2012

Izzy likes Mom

Today "Izzyconsings" listened to Mom singing My Heart Ever Faithful on YouTube and was kind enough to type out this short comment:
"What an unexpected and lovely way to share music, life and love. So simple and so beautiful."
We have no idea who Izzyconsings is, he's somewhere out there in cyberspace and didn't say anything about himself, but it was very nice to hear from Izzy today.
Mom has had 14,188 hits on her video so far, and we're sure everybody "likes" it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Moving to Bloomington

Mom's back deck. There's a big fenced yard, perfect for the Grand dog.
This time next week, if all goes as planned, Mom will be in her new home in Bloomington. Our dear 92 year-old mother says she'd like to be nearer her family now and that's exactly what is going to happen. We found a sweet ranch-stlyle home on a quiet street in an established neighborhood just south of Southdale, where she'll get all the personal care she needs and be able to plan and execute her own daily activities.
Closer? Here's what Google maps says: Each of her six kids will be much, much closer. Stan was 146 miles away from Mom in Alexandria, that's been reduced to 16. Virg was 131, that's been reduced to 8. Linda was 136, now it's 32; Steve was 180, now 74; Becky was 388, marked down to 247. (Sounds like a sale, doesn't it.) Sosie, who flies in from California, will be just a short cab ride from the airport. . . if she can't bum a ride from a sibling. Mom will be closer to her many grandchildren as well. Great grandchildren too.
This is very significant as we all age, particularly in Minnesota where blizzards sweeping the tundra discourage the bravest soul.
Virg is heading up the transition team with an assist from Sosie and a grandchild or two.
Come visit Mom in her new home soon. We're happy and we know she will be too. She's packed and excited. We'll introduce you to the new place next week. There will be full coverage of this happy event. Welcome home, Mom!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Going like sixty. . .

Happy Birthday, Virg!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here's the house. . . and the garage

Here's a look at Jennifer's house in Dundas. In the back yard is the garage. Lots to do. Lots of fun. Today we started painting the upstairs.

The joy of home ownership

New homeowner on the back porch, moments after opening her
very own door for the first time.
After many years of helping others update and restore their homes, Jennifer has her very own fixer-upper and we're all thrilled and excited about it. Our traveler Jen is putting down roots in nearby Dundas (a suburb of Northfield, Minnesota) and today she takes on all the liability and debt of a committed homeowner. It's a smart investment for her, she got a great price, just as the market is showing signs of finally getting up off the bottom. She'll move in tonight, but there's lots to do to make this old house a home of her own. We'll report progress, of course, as it is being made.
(By the way, the home includes a huge garage on the edge of the large fenced lot -- a former transmission repair shop -- that is insulated and heated. A retired handyman's dream playground.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Alexandria wins homecoming tilt

Alexandria Graduate Al Grundei, tipping
his cap for some reason at the Homecoming game.
Photo by Tom Obert
Word has been received from Tom Obert, our class of 1965 sideline reporter, that our Alexandria Cardinals defeated the hated St. Cloud Apollos 21-7 in this year's homecoming game. Tom has retained his role as class photographer, despite his failure to ever capture and post a clear shot of the enthusiastic streaker who enlivened the Alexandria homecoming game for three straight years. There was no youthful indiscretion to report this year, but Tom did manage a shot of retired postal worker Al Grundei, a 1967 graduate being honored here for an achievement Tom did not report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Anniversary wishes from the desk

A basket and a note greeted us tonight in The Paris Room at the Archer House in Northfield where we are taking care of some business and celebrating our 32nd Wedding Anniversary. Nested among the treats was a personal greeting from the desk clerk, who happens to be our daughter Jennifer. Birdie is at a slumber party with Laurie tonight, for those of you keeping track. She's resting up after service as a therapy dog at St. Gertrude's rehabilitation unit, where she helped Laurie cheer a hip replacement patient.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Personal note. . .

Personal note to Dan Martin who moved to Grants Pass, Oregon, a year and a half ago and hardly ever writes anymore:
Danny Boy:
Despairing of ever seeing or hearing from you again, I drank the last dram from your fifth of Old Pulteney, the treasured 17-year-old single malt you entrusted to me for storage and safekeeping. Let me assure you, whatever you paid for this premium bottle of vintage spirits, it was well worth the investment.
Produced in 1992 in the harbor town of Wick in the far northeast corner of Scotland, it had the distinctive and evocative spirit one would expect from this most northerly of mainland distilleries. I sipped it without ice and at room temperature, the better to expose its delicate, mineral-based spiciness.
Please know that throughout, your memory remained foremost, to the very last drop. Your name was often and fondly invoked.
So thank you kindly my lad, please advise on what to do with  your empty.
Faithfully yours,
(As we await your return, I will continue to closely guard your collection of vintage Glenmorangie, Balvenie and Aberlor.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Night in Northfield

Stan's sister and brother-in-law have been enjoying the sights and adventures in Europe during the past month. They've seen galleries and cities and gorgeous scenery in their annual frolic through the Old World.
Big deal. We travel too. We're going to Northfield.
The beautiful Paris Room awaits at the historic Archer Inn on the banks of the storied Cannon River, where our personal reservationist promises we'll receive the finest in service and satisfaction. We'll order dinner in the nightclub . . . and toast ourselves on our 32nd Wedding Anniversary.
We're going to enjoy our night in Northfield alright, if we don't, we'll complain to the desk clerk downstairs . . . our daughter Jennifer.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Looming bankruptcy has personal note

We'd like to add our voices to the chorus of dismay over the possible bankruptcy of the popular Mai Village Restaurant, located near the State Capitol on University Ave in St. Paul. Today's StarTribune told the sad story of a self-made immigrant couple, swimming in debt after months of light rail construction disrupted access to their business. The economic downturn started the death spiral, the lightrail accelerated it. The popular business will be missed, customers say, as they rally to do whatever they can to keep the wolf from the door.
Katie and Hai with stone
carving he bought her in Vietnam.

The story had special meaning to us, because the hardworking Vietnamese entrepreneurs are the parents of Hai Dang. We like to think of Hai as our own son, informally adopted after years of loyal comradeship and our admiration.

Here's the excellent StarTribune story by Rochelle Olson; the St. Paul Pioneer Press, WCCO-TV, local papers and radio also reported the story. Unreported were the medical difficulties experienced by Hai's Dad. He was hospitalized recently, suffering from the effects of a stroke. He came home yesterday.

To save Mai Village, it'll take a village
Pick any day of the week any time of the year and lunch tables at Mai Village on St. Paul's University Avenue will be occupied with diners from the state's loftiest circles and nearest neighborhoods.
A Supreme Court justice or three might be at one table while the city's police chief and deputies dine nearby, with a nonprofit leader or power lobbyists across the room. And for two decades owner Mai Nguyen has greeted everyone with a smile and regulars with hugs.
But plentiful parking, reliable food and its location near the State Capitol may not be enough to help the restaurant survive. Nguyen and her husband, Ngoan Dang, need to come up with $150,000 in the next couple of weeks to catch up on payments for $3.8 million in loans they took out in 2003 when they moved from the original location they opened in 1992.
"We have to cry out, 'Please help us to save this place,'" Nguyen said last week in an interview, interrupted by occasional tears as faithful customers stopped to hug her.
Hai's stepmother dried tears as she told reporter about
financial difficulties she and Hai's dad face
(Strib photo)
A "Save Mai Village" Facebook page has been set up, encouraging supporters to donate to a fund opened Thursday at Western Bank on University Avenue, or eat at the restaurant or rent a vacant office on the building's second level.
Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, teared up as she hugged Nguyen after lunch last week. "They really lifted the standard for redevelopment on the avenue," said Olson, who added that she's trying to figure out how to help her favorite restaurant.
"This is personal," said Kris Hulsebus, a retired environmental lawyer for the state and customer of 21 years who favors the hot-and-spicy chicken and the beef-and-shrimp noodle salad. "I have an attachment to these people and this place."
Down economy, then light rail
The business is in a tough spot for a combination of reasons. Nguyen said business started declining in late 2007 and continued as the economy sank. A couple of years later, light-rail construction began on University. In recent months, the heavy work has been done right outside the restaurant; cross streets occasionally have been closed, making access to the restaurant tough.
"Even without the light rail, the economy is not picking up," she said. Nguyen said her mortgage is $16,000 a month, including property taxes, and she has a $4,000 monthly utility bill. Food costs are going up, but Nguyen has resisted raising prices.
The couple also took on substantial debt for the move to the new location, an ornate but relaxed space that features a waterfall, koi pond, foot bridge and rooms full of intricately carved woodwork imported from Vietnam. A $400,000 loan from the city for the project is in forbearance through 2015. Nguyen also tapped the equity on the family home for $315,000 and faces a $100,000 lien on the house from the bank.
She stops short of saying she regrets taking on the debt.
"Whatever happened yesterday is the past," she said. "I just keep thinking, 'What will happen tomorrow? Will I have another chance?'"
She is hoping to renegotiate with the bank, but even as she spoke another legal notice came alerting her to the Oct. 24 sheriff's sale of the property at 394 University Av. W.
Nguyen, who came to the United States in 1975 as a refugee, spent her early years here raising children and assembling pocket sewing kits for hotel guests. Her husband, an officer in Vietnam, worked in a slaughterhouse. She is 62. He is 69 and uses a wheelchair.
Customers: 'We're with you'
Hulsebus recalled being nervous when Mai Village was "mobbed" on opening night in the new building. But customers waited patiently for tables. "Nobody left," she said. "To me it was symbolic of everybody saying, 'We're with you, we're going to succeed.'"
Like many customers, she's stepped up the frequency of her visits in recent days.
St. Paul resident Jim Toscano is so loyal that for his first 10 years of dining at the restaurant he was known only as "Mr. 63" because he invariably ordered the hot-and-spicy chicken. He's the retired president of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation at Abbott Northwestern.
A St. Paul resident and consultant, he meets clients at Mai Village and comes with his wife, daughter and granddaughter at least once a week. "The food is great," said Mr. 63, who now orders many different menu items. "I walk in here and I always know somebody."
Amid publicity about the problems at the restaurant, the parking lot has been filling up these past few days. "People are responding. I'm hoping they can work something out," he said.
Rochelle Olson • 651-925-5035 Twitter: @rochelleolson

Friday, September 21, 2012

Haircut and a shave. . .

Birdie returned from Christy Golden's Chanhassen dog emporium this morning, tired from an exhausting ordeal, but happy to be all fresh and home again -- and without any of those pesky ribbons and bows that some groomers make you wear. She sat briefly for her official fall portrait by the new mums and old petunias, as neighbors Joe and Mina cruised by and approved the new do. Christy, our long-time groomer who works in her home shop called "Mutty Paws," did a very nice job, gave Birdie an A for deportment and had a pleasant chat with Birdie's Mom. Now it is nap time for a tired, but sweet-smelling dog.
Mina and Joe

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Propane tank wind chimes

A note to a retired publisher and his wife in International Falls.

Dear Wayne and Mary Ann,
Saturday, swinging in the trees, we came upon the perfect gift for your hunting shack. They are wind chimes cleverly cut from steel barbecue grill propane tanks. 
We just couldn't decide on the green one or the yellow one.
At just $140 apiece, we can already hear them clanging away in your north woods all night long.
Stan and Katie

Wayne writes:
OK...I'll take two green and two red. Have them silenced however. Wouldn't be able to hear the wolves howling at dusk.

Monday, September 17, 2012

We're surprised she got so close

We do our utmost to avoid divisive political commentary on this blog, but we couldn't help observe that this robust creature appeared a bit uncertain of what to do next. The handlers were pulling him over to the right, but he seemed to prefer veering a little to the middle where more of the people stood. Then he stumbled over the water bucket.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Usual fare, but no McNeills

Aye, Hold Yer Bloody Horses, Laddie
Frisky steed tried to shake off his colorful Scottish rider. 
If you guessed The Renaissance Festival, you were right. You're obviously familiar with its tortured hallmarks -- enthusiastic displays of cleavage, public drunkenness and wretched interpretations of the medieval tongue.
No kilt for a Stan McNeill.
This wrong one is $99.
We joined in the buffoonery yesterday, using our local knowledge to skirt the two-lanes of pilgrims lined up bumper-to-bumper for 5 miles, but still eager to plunk down $20 for the opportunity to buy ye olde burger and a beer and maybe a hand-thrown crock for next year's garage sale.
We made a bee-line for our annual breakfast treat: fresh-baked popovers served on a fist of whipped honey butter. At $2 each, we ordered three. Fastest eater gets to start on the extra one. Stan claimed victory -- and the first bite.
Anachronisms abound here.
Lady Jennifer tried to quit, twice.
Ever since our Cousin Arnold's DNA research revealed that the Rolfsruds fathered a good share of the McNeill clan, we've been on the lookout for a proper kilt to memorialize this achievement. Our hopes were raised when we entered a Scottish tartan shop and saw rows of plaid skirts, marked MacDonald, MacDougal and so forth.
But alas, the little strumpet minding the store told Stan that they had no McNeill tartan. Disappointed, we settled for this photo with the rangy store model, then continued on our way.
Eventually we spotted a Scottish knight in the jousting arena, could have been a McNeill, but we never got a chance to inquire. His skittish steed nearly de-horsed him as the crowd gasped. The Scotsman (who was wearing a microphone feeding the public address system) somehow regained his seat and dignity without cursing. We got pictures, (above) but he wasn't taking questions.
Kathleen did very well on her new knee, walking the soft earthy grounds, but it was time to go. As we passed the site where Stan's sister Becky once operated a cloth works, we saw a barefoot, kilted shopkeeper hawking his trinkets.
A McNeill plaid? we asked the man in the skirt. "I have no idea, sir," he responded. "I just found this costume and thought I would wear it. It's really comfortable. I'm German."
The search for authenticity continues.
We finished all the popovers.
Left about a half-pound of excess honey butter
for the bees swarming the food court

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Guess where we went today?

Fall colors soon

Sosie is safely back home on the West Coast after 10 days with her mother in Alexandria. We look out at the back yard and we're reminded of the care she took with our pots and barberry bushes last spring. Today we go to the Renaissance Festival on a nice cool day; we'd hoped to take Sosie with us for a day of festive nonsense, but time flies when you're with your Mom, right? Happily, Lorlee's coming soon. So is winter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Rembrandt at the MIA

Katie's cellphone camera
Mister and Mrs. Patron O. D. Artes put on their good shoes this morning and headed to the Minneapolis Institute to see the visiting Rembrandt exhibit. It did not disappoint. True, it was mostly paintings of old white men and a few fully-clad women -- but what a lesson in techniques to bring life to a canvas.
Some of the portraits were so stunning you felt like you had met the subject before or once knew somebody just like him. Minute details in the hair and eye strokes were most exquisite.
The MIA does a great job explaining what you're looking at as well as the history of the physical painting. We spent as much time reading the placards as we did gazing at the work. His family life, business, history, associations that might give insight into his genius. And details about who bought what from whom or who got fooled into thinking Rembrandt did this when it was really a student or member of the team.
The exhibit closes Sunday, we had hoped Sosie would be able to see this with us, but duty has kept her with Mom in Alexandria.

The badge makes it official

Our daughter once worked for a florist as a flower buyer in LA. Kathleen cherishes the memory of driving with her in the wee morning hours to the huge, bustling flower market to watch her daughter skillfully select and purchase colorful raw materials for the day.

Hello Mom and Stan,
I'm back from my first day working/training at Just Food Co-op.  It was nice to meet the co-op folks in Northfield and start learning the ropes. I am excited about my new position as a Grocery Buyer. It will be different from being a flower buyer, yet I'm sure with the same amount of responsibility. It has been some leg work but Northfield has been generous with me in providing two good and fun jobs -- speaking of which, I'll talk to you later, I'm off to the Archer House now!
Big Love,

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Know any McNeils? Could be our kin.

Cousin Arnold enjoys tracing our geneology, using DNA markers. (Our fathers were brothers). He's got an Excel spreadsheet that's quite impressive. From time to time Arnold files a report on his latest findings. Yesterday he shared new information about our relatives, turns out our Viking forefathers got around a lot. Here's a portion of his detailed report:

Outer Hebrides (marked with "A")
Norway on the upper right.
He writes:

The Rolfsruds have 15 exact matches at the 12 marker level.   They consist of 1 Norwegian, 1 Northern Irishman, 1 Scot, 1 Irishman, 1 Finn and  10 SWEDES!  That reminds me of the American Express commercial that showed a son taking his son to Norway to explore ancestral origins and when they discovered that they were REALLY SWEDISH, they went to Stockholm, with their American Express card in hand!

One family name which occurs over and over in the larger match sample is that of the Scottish McNeils!  They originated in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, [see map] in an area held by the Norwegian Vikings for 400 years.   From the frequency of the name in our larger sample, it appears that you and I are fully qualified to claim membership in the McNeill clan, whether they want us or not!   Those Vikings really got around, and they were particularly busy in Scotland and England, although they were also active along the coastal regions and Shannan River of Ireland as well.   I love it when I tell an Irishman that the Norwegian Vikings founded Dublin, Ireland--as well as Waterford, Wexford and Limerick. 
Is this our tartan? A United Kingdom company
that markets kilts hope so. Found this on their
web site.

Up until now, Stan has always traced his Scottish roots through his mother, progeny of the Jackson clan, who immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-19th century. Jacksons came from the midlands and thus don't have a highland tartan. Now we'll have to check out the McNeils on Dad's side and see about the colors.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Mom's new chair

A good man.
Sosie's been staying with our mother the past week in Alexandria at her Edgewood Vista home. During that time she noticed that Mom's wheels weren't all they could be and arranged for delivery of a replacement chair. We watched Mom show off the new set up yesterday, and, indeed, it's a much  better fit.
Sometimes if you don't have
enough words, you can use
your hands to help.
Jay, a favorite aide and friend, stopped by and took the family portrait below. We shared some Beverly stories.
It was a beautiful September day in our old hometown, but the winds had picked up a bit, so there was no outdoor stroll today.
Sosie continues her extended stay through next week. She's become great friends with some of the residents, particularly the next door neighbor. (right photo)
We took Sosie out for a Saturday night dinner at Doolittle's. She's been eating in with Mom for the past week, and we thought she could use a break from the dining hall routine. Sorry Mom.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Phew, got 'er done

Kathleen particularly likes the curve in the driveway.
We'll be first in line for The Parade today, which is dangerous.
We've purchased two homes after seeing them on the Parade.
This July there was nothing but brush here, as Stan and Birdie walked by on their daily stroll. Then in August, things started to percolate. The walkers watched in amazement as the pace quickened, climaxing in a crescendo of activity this week with just one goal in mind -- The opening of the annual Parade of Homes today at noon.
In what looked like a scene cut from HGTV, as many as 38 craftsmen a day "got 'er done" and on this gorgeous September morning the sign went up out front, No. 260. "Yeah, it got pretty chaotic in there," said the man erecting the Parade sign this morning.
We're heartened by all the construction activity in the neighborhood, not because we want more neighbors, but because it bodes well for the country if we can get this housing thing going again. We're doing our part on Fairhaven Drive. One new home was occupied this spring, there's another new one  finished recently and for sale two blocks away, and this week they started clearing brush on a brand new Fairhaven lot. Today a "sold" sign appeared on it. A mile from here there's a huge development going in, new sewer and water and roads, all reminiscent of the hey days a decade ago when this county led the nation in startups.
Here's the poop on No. 260, above: "$465,000. Amazing views from this quality built home on Stonebrooke Golf Course. This new design features a large, open floor plan with a spectacular kitchen, beautiful great room cabinetry surrounding the stone fireplace, luxurious owner's suite, upper-level laundry, and ample room to grow with four bedrooms, all on the upper level. Relax on the stamped patio overlooking the 17th hole. Experience for yourself the quality and design of an F and B Construction built home."
(F and B are father and son. F lives in the neighborhood with his family and dog, Peanut. F looked a bit bushed last time we saw him zipping by in the pickup. We gave him a big thumbs up.)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

His favorite places

Photo by Pam Vaughn
Every year at about this time, Pam and Paul would head north to enjoy the very best days of summer, wetting a line in a few northern Minnesota and Canadian lakes. Paul (The Wall) was happiest during those adventures, and Pam loved the time together, the fishing, the camping, the flights and the companionship.
This year Pam invited her granddaughter Ana up north for the fishing adventure, and whenever they came to a special place, together they cast some of "Pablo's" ashes over the water.
At last spring's memorial for the late Paul Matthies, Pam said she would be doing this. We're glad she did it. Paul is at peace. Now his memory safely rests where the northern breeze slips through the pines, the loon calls out across the evening sky, and long, long after the little fishing boat has purred away into the twilight, you hear its gentle wake, softly reaching the sandy shore.

Alumni regroup at the end of the rainbow

Mom, Dick and Sosie take a rainbow ride.
Mom has a doctor's appointment this morning and who should pull up in the Rainbow Rider taxi service to escort her to it? Driver Dick Halstead, a country school classmate from the long ago one-room-school days in Lake Mary Township south of Alexandria.
Sosie, who is spending the week with Mom at her Alexandria assisted living home, sent this photo and caption:
Here is Dickie Halstead of District 24 country school helping Mom into the Rainbow Rider. Dickie was wearing Dickies jeans and regrets not starting the company. We got special service, with a drive past the Coffee Pot cafe, to ensure they would be open for our lunch after the doctor.

(Question for Oak Grove classmates. Wasn't Dick the gifted one who could free hand beautiful horses and other things? The brothers were Tom, Dick and Gary, right?)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

It's Herald Week

This sign was originally hung by Stan and Terry Blake in 1975.
It's been painted a couple times since. Looks like it could use another coat.
Yesterday the Carver County Board of Commissioners designated the week as "Chaska Herald Week," publishing a lengthy proclamation extolling the virtues of our 150-year-old institution. After writing about them for a century and a half, it was nice having them write something about us.
The very first issue was printed exactly 150 years ago this week. Stan served as its publisher for 30 years, possibly the longest tenure of any Herald publisher, although that claim is in dispute -- but nobody has bothered to look it up yet, so it still stands.
(Hey, this is political season, truth ain't everything! We're not going to have our celebration marred by fact checkers!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

First Grade starts today

Emily starts school today: Day One, Grade One. So much to think about, wonder about, dream, wish for. Hope. ---- Well, okay, deep breath now. Let's get started, dig in, sweetie! And Good Luck, we're with you all the way!
C'mon, you can do it, little brave one! Piece of cake!

Below, it's the first day of school for the new Dean of Discipline as well. It's Ford's first day in the administration at Shakopee West Middle School, where he will deal with 1000 seventh, eighth and ninth grade sets of raging hormones. He's had ten years of teaching this age student, so he knows exactly what he's gotten himself in to; even so, we sincerely wish him the very best of luck, while feeling nary the slightest trace of envy.
The Dean relaxes before The First Day.
Cherice, Ford, Kaia, Jenn, Amber, Alex


Great grandchildren worked on the sand cake: Kaia, Lacey and Emily.
One hundred candles blazed on a brightly-decorated sand cake in Virg's back yard yesterday, as the progeny of the late Erling N. Rolfsrud gathered around it to observe what would have been his 100th birthday. It was fun.
 Nancy, Steve and Sosie watched from the gallery.
Dubbed "Erlingtide" by co-host Sosie, in town again to visit her mother in Alexandria, the event drew a nice Labor Day mix of sons and in-laws, as well as great and grand children. Celebrants sang and recalled highlights from their forefather's illustrious life, then busied themselves with the business at hand: A magnificent salad and pasta buffet sponsored by Sosie and catered by Buca's, as well as a real cake, this one made of chocolate and mousse, prepared for the occasion by Mr. Costco.
Dad "very likely" would have loved all the attention.
Alex, Virg, Amber, Aaron, Melissa, Lacey, Nancy, Sosie, Steve, Katie, Stan
(Not pictured, Ford, Kaia, Emily, Cherice and Jenn-- taking the picture)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Dog Shaming

Frustrated dog owners are taking desperate measures in hopes of correcting bad behavior in their pets. A Dog Shaming web site has been established where dogs are being forced to confess their sins publicly. Here's our entry.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

September Sunset

Enjoying the last golden days of summer. First grade starts for Emily Kathleen on Tuesday! Melissa and daughter and pontoon on Minnetonka. (iPhoto)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Here's what's happening in Northfield

Joe's visiting Northfield this weekend, checking out Jennifer's new situation. She's working hard, so birthday celebrations were put off until Saturday night. Tonight, when a bored Kathleen looked up from the baseball game and texted "What's happening?" she got this photo as a response. Enuff said.
Have fun in Northfield, everybody!

September boy

This just in from neighbors Tom and Sandy:

The post reads:
Cameron Allen Moe, 6lbs 9oz, arrived at 8:00 am this morning, Sept 1. Mother, son and father doing well. Grandparents ok too.
Tom and Sandy were called at 1 a.m. to perform the agreed upon backup duty, minding Cameron's two-year-old sister Lucy while Cameron was being delivered. They performed their duty as planned. Grandpa Tom called in this morning. Stan said " So you've been up all night. Good. Now you can get some sleep."
Tom said: "Well, Lucy, is up now.
Guess that ship has sailed. Congratulations to the entire happy, sleepy family. We'll spread the news round the neighborhood.
How thoughtful of Cameron. Born at the beginning of the day on a long Labor Day weekend, convenient for everyone to stop by and get everything squared away in time for Tuesday's school opener and Grandma Sandy's birthday.

Old Home Week

Whenever you go to an event with a large crowd or travel to a far-away place, you always seem to bump into somebody from back home, or someone you haven't seen in a long time. As we joined the 100,000 at the State Fair, we wondered just who it might be this time.
It didn't take long to find out. The first people we saw coming into the fairgrounds were old friends Dale and Sue Diedrick. Haven't seen or talked to them for years. Dale and Sue owned Butch's Tavern in Chaska, a favorite 70s waterhole for Stan. They were landlords for Kathleen's decorating store next door.
Further, we learned that Dale has had two hips replaced and he's doing quite well, thank you; not to brag, Kathleen showed off the scar from her recent knee job. Further still, they went to the same hospital. . . and further. . . they had the same quirky sawbones. Chatter ensued, threatening to waylay the main purpose of the day. But soon Old Home Week was over and we merrily made our separate ways into the throng, content now that we had seen our familiar faces for the day.