Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Ultimate Home Shopping network

Mom awoke to a selection of seven tops and five coordinated bottoms Sosie had pulled off the racks at the nearby Kohl's. . . who just happened to be having a sale. Mom will make her picks and Sosie will return the rejects.. for someone else's mother to wear.
Now get up and start your shopping, Mom!
We'll standby for a modeling of her final choices.

Red Rover, Red Rover, send Jennifer over. . .

At Macy's with Mom
Picking a Birthday present
Jennifer celebrated her 42nd yesterday with a dramatic change and a party in her work-in-progress Dundas home, attended by friends and family. (Some family left long before friends did.)
Jennifer's new look (and her wanderlust ways) inspired thoughts about a favorite game we played in our grade school play yard.
Did you ever play it? Did you know that Rover is the Norwegian word for robber or raider and that some say the child's game was inspired by the Viking practice of pillaging the English coast. Hence, children would dare the opposite team to come and raid their lines, by breaking through their joined hands.
Red Rover, Red Rover, send Jennifer over. If Jennifer could break through the opposing line, she was entitled to take a captive back to her side. If she failed, she, herself, became a "prisoner."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dinner and conversation

Sosie enjoyed dinner at Virg's; his family gathered in Eden Prairie for an evening of food and fun. Sosie was amused when she asked Lacey what her mother had told her about her Aunt Sosie. The response? "She's perky."
Her nephew Alex reports just a few credits remain before he completes his present course of study. Aaron and Amber recently returned from a leisurely Caribbean cruise for a hectic time at the auto body shop and the beauty shop. . . due to a damaging hail storm and back to school activity.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mini-reunion at the Sofitel

Mostly Class of 1966

Brothers and Sisters
Ten Alexandria Jefferson High classmates gathered for an air-conditioned lunch at the Sofitel in Bloomington today. Mostly it was the gang from Sosie's class, but Greg Johnson, Stan's classmate, attended as well. He's Cathy Ricardo's brother... Cathy's been staying with us.
We all enjoyed remembering the old times of our youth, and comparing notes with all the recent or soon-to-be retired boomers.

Stan's spicy chicken mango
salad with peanuts

Condolences to Bill Shearer

Our brother-in-law Bill Shearer lost his Aunt Marilyn last night to heart complications.
Bill will fly from San Francisco to Marysville, Ohio, today to handle arrangements. Aunt Marilyn had a lifetime career as a journalist for the Holmes County Hub in the Amish country in Ohio, and retired to the historic Shearer family home in Marysville.
She was 84. Our thoughts are with Bill, son Zachary, (the last of the Shearer line) and Solveig --- who is presently staying with us, as we reminisce about Aunt Marilyn, an interesting and accomplished woman.
Below is the family home in Marysville, which was built by the Shearers in 1895, and has never been sold. We'll post Aunt Marilyn's obituary when it becomes available.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Joe and Mina's famous "Salmon to Share" event

Grillmeister Greg with Fish Finders, Joe and Mina
Meanwhile on the porch, host Tom watches John pull on a beer.
Abbey Point food lovers gathered tonight to feast on Joe and Mina's fourth annual Lake Michigan salmon catch.
Deb and Paula gnosh in hostess Sandy's kitchen.
This year's hosts were Tom and Sandy Story. Their gracious hospitality set the stage for an evening of fun and feasting featuring four varieties of salmon finishes, offered by volunteer cooks slaving diligently on a heated tarmac over hot grills, just to please the palates of their discerning neighbors.
These combined labors produced an enjoyable evening for a grateful community, and earned plaudits and commendations in a stand up toast offered by Head Fisherman Mina Daly, the one Joe claims to have boated the Big One.
(A poster proving Mina's prowess was displayed prominently in the foyer.)
The generous salmon platters were accompanied by a plethora of appetizers, side salads, (a caesar,  a ramen, a wild rice and a broccoli), cheesey potatoes, and of course, desserts. -- key lime pie, chocolate loaf cake, and carmel tres leches.
It was agreed by acclamation that this annual event should continue indefinitely. Happily, Joe and Mina appear willing.

Table One
Wes, Shirley, Duane, Jane, Lisa, Carla

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Three pairs of pedicures, please

We picked up Sosie at the airport last night, this afternoon she picked up her high school chum at the airport in her rental car. We're going for the Tuesday T-bones at Little Six tonight, but first things first: the ladies sat for a round of pedicures at Nails Lovely. Kathleen chose crackle silver, Cathy's are Black Gold and Sosie's are Fiat Orange, to match her rental, of course. Stan will be escorting three pairs of beautiful feet tonight.

Tuesday is a work day

It may be blazing 90s in the sun, but work goes on in the back yard, with the bees swarming over the Russian sage today. We won't have relief for a while, but we're okay.

Monday, August 26, 2013

We're in!

The level says it's perfect, just as we expected.
From left, Jerry, John the Plumber, Max

It's complicated
Max the Apprentice joined our crack plumbing installation team today, helping Jerry and John for the finale of a week-long ballet of equipment,  complex installations and mud and paint drying times.
Today John put nipples on the copper and connected the gas, joined the dryer vent to the dryer, connected the water lines to the washer, installed the drain pipe and connected the steam hose to the dryer and. . . plugged 'em in. Spaces are tight, and John made the most of it. We're very pleased with the fit, which maximized a limited space, adding functionality to the layout.
We're washing and drying laundry as this is written, Wanda (washer) and Dora (dryer) like their new spaces and hopefully will perform these important duties without flagging for another decade or so.
Sosie, meet Wanda and Dora
We truly hope the walls and floors need never be seen again.
There's still plenty of work left to do to finish the room, but we're taking a break. Our company's here.

Cooler on the river. . .

Stan's kayak, Jennifer's feet, Cannon River, lazy morning.
(What are you doing with your phone in a tippy kayak, Jennifer? Oh yes, the river isn't deep so you don't have a life vest on either, right? We'll try not to worry.)

Now arriving, Humphrey Terminal 2

Last April, Sosie brought her son, Zachary.
Here they are stepping out onto the Gurthrie Endless Bridge.
Stan's sister Sosie arrives today from California to spend a week in Minnesota, just in time to enjoy what may be a record heat wave for August. This is State Fair Week and the 10 p.m. weatherman isn't sure if we'll have the hottest stretch ever for the Fair, but he's going to look it up, because he thinks so. Sosie will spend blocks of her time with her mother in Bloomington, but we have some events planned  as well. . . most all of them air-conditioned. We'll keep you posted, of course.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ready for final installation

Washer connections in the box on the left, dryer vent
and gas line in the middle, pass-through on the right.
New walls cover the new plumbing in the laundry room, just in time for Monday's installation plan. The washer and dryer will fit into this cubicle, with a scootch left over on the right for a laundry pass-through from the master closet.
The appliances are almost five feet high, eye level for Katie, so a shelving system will be mounted above.
John the plumber, at right, will make the gas and dryer connections around noon tomorrow. Alas, none of his lovely work will ever be seen --- nor will most of the mudding and taping and painting done by the homeowner.
Monday is wash day, right? We'll be ready.

Have a look at Briggs and Lynn's new apartment in D.C.

Our niece, Briggs, and her husband, Lynn, have just posted a brief tour of their new apartment.
Click here for the walk-through and commentary.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Laundry Room project update

The plumbing is buttoned up, the sheetrock has been taped and mudded, the new floor cut up and screwed down, painted and urethaned.
Tomorrow, more mud, grout; Sunday, paint, Monday the plumber comes back at noon to hook up the washer and dryer.
A good thing. We're running out of underwear.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hey Look! Kathleen's at The State Fair!

Where's Kathleen in the audience? Look above Pat Evans in the photo. She's peeking out over the center of Pat's head. She dropped by the KARE11 Barn today to see the Midday show, which included a compelling interview with a vendor who makes bacon and candy cannolis (photo at right ) and another in-depth interview with the inventor of the "new" sausage and pancake breakfast on a stick with a syrup cup.

Art Barn favorite. Welded stone and steel.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Knee deep in our plumbing

John the Plumber
Construction update:
John and Jerry finished the laundry rough-in at 3:30 today, leaving a note and a pressurized gas line for the inspector, who will be here tomorrow at 9.
Aaron the Nephew
We think John the Plumber reminds us a lot of our sweet nephew, Aaron.  Maybe it's just his polite, unassuming manner, but we both had the idea.
Tom, our wise neighbor, says he was told by a plumber relative that plumbing is easy. You just remember three things: that the hot is on the left, water runs down hill, and don't ever chew your fingernails.
John and Jerry had heard that old joke before, but chuckled anyway, and added their own version. They'll be back next week for final hookup.

Before. . .

Big day in the Rolfsrud laundry today.
Master plumbers will arrive mid-morning to rough-in the washer and dryer connections so that we can reorganize our mud room into a more functional space.
Barry and his brother will do the honors, a complicated re-arrangement of pipes and ducts. Stan pulled the cabinets and opened the floor and walls for their convenience. They will move hot and cold water, the dryer vent, the floor drain and roof vent as well as the gas connection. The 20 amp electrical is already in.
Functional space can be a lot of work. Barry says they'll be done this afternoon and ready for the inspector. (The official one from the city.)

So far. . .
Drain to the basement, stack through the attic 12:15 p.m.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Minnesota State Fair bound!

Fun-seekers Bev and Benita
It's never too late to strike an item off your bucket list.
Beverly has never attended the Great Minnesota Get-together, The State Fair. After a 93 year wait, on Monday she'll motor on over to St. Paul in a carload of girls, (Jill, Marcia and Benita) for Senior Day at the fair. There will be no Tilt-a-Whirls, we're told, but they're already planning on gorging themselves.
For her part, Benita has been to the State Fair many times, but prefers the Renaissance Festival. (No Jill, forget that. Sheesh. The Renaissance is definitely not on Mom's bucket list, we're sure. ... although the popovers with melted honey butter are unforgettable.)
Benita teased the rookie: "Hey Beverly, what's the difference between a Pronto Pup and a Corn Dog?"
The excitement builds.
If you want to get into the mood, click on this little video we made of our 2008 visit to the Fair.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Every mother's dream. . .

The motorcycle is bigger than it looks. Wayne is 6'5".
As the perfect summer day faded over the opening round of the Renaissance Festival, Jennifer, and her pal, Wayne, headed from there to her parent's house to chat before their night ride home to Northfield.
We think it is important to have a large motorcycle parked prominently in your driveway from time to time, just to put the neighbors on notice that we might be a bit wilder and crazier than they think.
The short visit on the screen porch gave us a chance to meet and get to know Wayne, a very charming, interesting and refined gentleman. . .  in jeans and leather. Wayne moved to Northfield about the time Jennifer got her job in the grocery and that's where they met. They've been buds since.
But Jennifer had to go to work in the morning, so our visit was kept short. Pity. Shortly after they rumbled through the neighborhood, heading south, the empty porch faced an amazing fireworks display that went on for half an hour. The Mdewakanton Sioux were having a Pow Wow, making a fitting finale to a gorgeous day.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Trails, Luke and Emily!

Rico, a four-year-old gelding; Tequila, the mare in the rear.
Rico's sire. . . didn't catch
the name, but Katie says he's
friendly and she's not used to horses.
It's Luke's birthday today and Emily, a best friend, is invited to the party. Luke's Mom owns a stable of three horses, so they were trailered to her Eden Prairie home today as the main attraction at Luke's celebration. Understandably, the horses created a bit of a stir in the suburban neighborhood. Kathleen dropped Emily off amongst the onlookers, and took this shot before leaving. No miniature rental ponies for Luke, no sir. Yes, the kids will wear boots and helmets, Cindy promised.

Smooth. . .

We worked the swings hard this morning at Huber Park, Emily noting that Grandpa's swing squealed a lot louder than hers did. She thoughtfully allowed that that was probably because Grandpa is heavier than she is.
"It sounds like the swings are crying," she observed.
We made friends with Kailey from Austin, visiting her Aunt in Shakopee. Kailey pointed out that Emily's Grandpa had silver in his mouth. She quickly added that she knew why that was and that she didn't have any cavities.
Morning appetites whetted, first thing Emmy Kay asked for was a SMOOTHIE! We proudly complied as she requested carrots and that green stuff to go along with the blueberries and strawberries. It's just Grandpa and Emily today. Grandma is at the vet's office with Birdie again, so we don't have enough hands for Go Fish just yet.
There's always the possibility of an Afternoon Tea, of course.
Mr. Duck and Timothy Turtle got naps today. Grandpa too. Not Emily.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Will they meet at the corner?

This joint is as tight as a tick.
(Whatever does that mean?)
We don't usually stop for garage sales, but this one seemed different. Sure enough, the dreams of a nice young couple to have a picture framing business in their basement somehow went belly up. And, as is the way of the free market, their abject loss was our gain. Cheerio! We crammed their dashed dreams into the hatchback, paid a pittance, and sped off.
Chop saw, clamps, pin nailer, Gorilla glue,
Nothing to it, right? 
That was a few years ago. The raw framing material has been stored flat in the garage, piled carefully so as not to warp. A few of the boards have been pulled out for an experiment or project here and there, but today the first big-time picture-framing challenge was presented to the would-be picture framer. The assignment? Put a 3 foot by 4 foot border around Cousin Larry's canvas that is suitable to the subject and doesn't look like it was lashed up by some garage rookie.
Carolyn used to frame Larry's work, but doesn't do it any more. She explained that quitting was cheaper than the cost of a divorce.
So our new painting was frameless and now we've got a job.
Kathleen will pick a color. Stan will miter the corners and insert the stretched canvas. You'll be the judge.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Our visitors from Red Wing

Stan, Beverly, Carolyn, Larry at Mom's Place.
Mom was very pleased to see Larry and Carolyn today. Larry is Mom's nephew, a 77-year-old artist from Red Wing. Mom fondly recalled hosting the young couple years ago in Alexandria, when they visited their Uncle Erling and Aunt Beverly. Larry's mother is our late Aunt Agnes, Dad's sister.
Larry and Carolyn were on a mission to Shakopee today, to deliver a 36x48 inch landscape that wouldn't fit into Stan's car. Stan and Kathleen had a nice lunch with them, before driving two cars across the river to visit Mom in Bloomington. The Bloomington Ferry Bridge has been a trial since its reduction to two lanes last week. For some reason, it has been easier to go north than to go south at midday. Accordingly, we took the long way home through Burnsville, after bidding Larry and Carolyn goodbye in Bloomington.
Today's delivery wasn't the first Veeder work we have acquired. The first was produced when Stan was only nine. Aunt Agnes boasted to her brother in her North Dakota ranch kitchen that her 20-year-old Larry, home from Art School in far-away Minneapolis, was an amazing portrait artist. To prove her point, she put Stan on a stool and told Larry to get to work. (See the result on the right.)
Today Larry laughed about how his mother worried about him in the Big City, studying amongst strangers at the Institute of Art, blocks away from dangerous Nicollet Avenue. Larry survived and went on to become a successful commercial and landscape artist, raising a family in picturesque Red Wing on the proceeds of his labor. Their two daughters are now creatives themselves: one's a chocolatier, the other has a gallery in Winona.
Larry made many artist friends at the Institute. Phil, a confirmed bachelor, lived for a time with newlyweds Carolyn and Larry. He now lives near Mom's place by Southdale and so they took the opportunity to visit with him today as well.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anybody have a copy?

An old friend just emailed that she saw a chapter on Erling Rolfsrud in this book. She kindly notified us, wondering if we'd seen it. We haven't. Has anybody got this book, "The Best of The Norwegian Heritage?" We have an encyclopedia of "The Best of Ole and Lena," but, sadly, that's the extent of our library of our Scandinavian legacy.

Here's Sara's note:
I saw this and when I was thumbing through saw that there's a chapter on your Dad. You probably have this but just in case. . .

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kathy's walleye

Stan's classmate Kathy Faust landed this lunker, a 6 1/2 pound, 26.5 inch walleye. Stan played clarinet with her in the eighth grade band and sees her occasionally at the Wallweeds get-together of old Alexandria Cardinals held monthly in Maple Grove. Kathy and her husband are headed back to Canada for more fishing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thinking of you. . .

Beverly and Erling in 1971

Aunt Dorothy showing Mom, Dad and Uncle Ralph
a photo album in 1979 at a picnic in Elkton, So. Dak.

There's nothing sweeter than a traditional hand-written note delivered by a postman. One arrived in our mailbox from Denver yesterday from Evi and Dave, Mom's nephew, our cousins. In a nice script, Evi got us up to date and enclosed some old snapshots she thought Mom might be interested in seeing. We haven't heard from these two in quite some time, so it was special getting an old-fashioned greeting this way.
Thanks for your note, Evi, Mom will enjoy the pictures.

Mom's grandchildren:  Zach, Shana and Steve. They're all grown up now.