Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A colonoscopy then a little excitement. How was your day?

Souvenir EKG from the St. Paul paramedics.
Seven paramedics and firefighters came en masse to Buca’s Restaurant in St. Paul today to see about a man whose wife was holding up his head so it wouldn’t fall into the spaghetti sauce. The man was passed out, not drunk — he was drugged and dehydrated. A fire engine rolled from Station One.

Capt. Jeff joked that when it is Buca’s, they all come.

Stan has been prepping for two days for a traditional colonoscopy. He drank the prescribed bottle of magnesium citrate on Monday night, began his fluid diet, then completed the awful routine by drinking the gallon of GoLytely Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. Seemed like he had enough to drink.

Colonoscopy complete and satisfactory this morning, and with a warning to take it easy today until the drugs wore off, Stan and his required driver were off to Buca’s for lunch.

It wasn’t until they finished the Chicken Parmesan and the spaghetti that Stan noticed something wrong. Dizzy, disoriented, light headed. “I don’t feel so good,” he told his wife and soon bowed his head. The next thing he knew, the paramedics and firemen in blue uniforms had surrounded him.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing black,” Stan quipped, not knowing what had transpired in the long minutes his head was cradled in his wife’s arms and the help was doing their best to help.

A shot of oxygen and a return of color to his face later, he said he could walk. “Stand slowly,” another paramedic said. “I’ll walk you to the car." Done. (Buca’s kindly comped the lunch.)

After a short nap, friends happened to drop by to see the new place. She’s a nurse. We soon diagnosed the problem. Despite drinking over a gallon of solution for the colonoscopy, Stan had neglected the instruction to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. He was dehydrated… and of course the drugs and fasting didn't help. He just fainted.

At any rate, we’re grateful to the cadre of St. Paul paramedics, firefighters, and the good people at Buca’s for their prompt care and attention. We feel fine and are drinking plenty of fluids now.

And thanks as well to my wife, Kathleen, for her love -- and for keeping my face out of the spaghetti sauce.

Saturday, October 07, 2017


Enjoying a moment in the den, now that we can see it.
Going from 3,500 square feet to 1,500 square feet has posed quite a challenge in decision-making. Yes, No, Keep, Throw. We started the process last April, thinking that if we just filled the trash and recycling cans to overflowing and slipped some more into the neighbors' cans each week we'd make it easily. So we donated, sold on Craigslist, and gave generously to the heirs. A garage sale got more items. You would think that by August we'd be ready. Wrong.
It still took Four Men and a Truck to dig us out and move us, and we're just starting to get organized and free. But it is still "Save, trash or give away" as we work to get some elbow room in the new place.
What has been very helpful is the set up we found in the new garage. They've got a dumpster for trash, one for recycle and. . . a Free Table for stuff that you deem too good to throw away.
We've taken full advantage of the Free Table and delight as items disappear. We speculate who got the mirror, the table, the spoons, the pots we left, etc. ... that we laboriously hauled here from the old place, just to give it away.
When we really don't know what to do we can cheat and store some stuff at Dan's condo.
This Saturday we're starting to enjoy the fruit of our labors. We have saved the good stuff and the memorabilia, trashed the superfluous, and we don't think we'll miss any of that stuff we got rid of.
"Sweetie, I can't find my favorite red shirt."

Friday, October 06, 2017

Here is how it's done

 Our windows are complete. Here's how they are tackling the windows on the fifth floor. They can do about one unit a day. Hopefully October is warm. It can get chilly with the windows so wide open. :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Continuing on. . .

This is the last day of window replacement at our new St. Paul apartment. That's Birdie's field in the background. They will finish today if all goes well and we can continue the ongoing sorting and organizing. When will it end?

Monday, October 02, 2017

Whadda ya mean it don't fit...

They're installing new bedroom windows today in our St. Paul apartment. So to adding to all the excitement of the move, we've prepared our rooms for the workmen. The new windows should be nice. Work continues on the main windows tomorrow.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Renaissance anyone?

Jennifer's friend, Kathy, always makes sure they're appropriately attired at the annual Renaissance Festival near Shakopee.

Monday, September 25, 2017

It's over!

We got the money.

A successful closing at an Edina realty center today started at 11 a.m. Shortly after 12:30,  we had turned over the keys, deposited the check,  and were now honored guests back at our old Abbey Point house, Shakopee, getting acquainted with the new owners, Rick and LuAnn, and a celebration of their friends. (Wouldn't you know it? Ford - my nephew - taught one of Rick and LuAnn's children.)

It was an odd feeling, making these new friends as guests in an absolutely empty house, save for the well-wishers and a buffet lunch provided by friends of the new owners. They are only moving a few miles, so the friends are all near by. Movers come tomorrow.

Stan and Rick toured the house, examining the quirks and oddities.

We wish them the best in the house we called home for 17 years, and know they will grow to love it, as did we. They are down-sizing to our house. We are down-sizing from our house. Go figure.

Now, to make the St. Paul place our home.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Home, Sweet Home

Here is the kitchen in our new place. :)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

We have a new telephone number

We got the house line installed at our new St. Paul address yesterday. Seems the FCC won't let us keep our old number, at least that's what the lady at Comcast said. And you have to believe the cable company, right?
We're not putting the number on the internet, so just use the old cellphone numbers for now. If you've been calling the old number and no one is home, well, sorry, somebody is home but we're just cleaning up. The move is going good, movers (Four Men and a Truck) came Thursday, but we're still stiff and sore from all the activity.
We're sitting in the middle of a big mess right now, but at least it's at our new address.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Moving week

"Toolin' down the road, tryin' to lighten our load," Jennifer takes some breakables in her SUV down to our new digs.
Neighbors drop by to say they are going to miss such
wonderful neighbors, but secretly. . .
Our daughter Jennifer helped her Mom organize her new kitchen yesterday. Movers come Thursday for the big stuff, the little items and fragile bric-brac we've reserved for ourselves. Passed our inspection and our radon test yesterday. Today we build a shelf in our new storage room. Uff da. Something every day, but it's going good. We're getting rid of lots of stuff and the Goodwill is happy to get it. Tomorrow we go to the county recycle center with an old school RCA colortrak that refuses to die. We offered it for free on Craigslist and got one call. But he just wanted to ask for the Model No. When we gave it, it wasn't the right one and he rejected it as well. Guess it will go with the dead fluorescent tubes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


Hai Dang struggled for almost an hour to land this 100 pound tuna, but two hammerhead sharks beat him to it, shredding the specimen before Hai got it in the boat. Hai spent two days on the ocean, getting his limit of 5 both days, a rare feat. By the way, Hai doesn't eat fish. . . which is a good deal for friends and family.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

First Day. . .again

She's five foot two; taller than Grandma.

Emily’s Mom, Melissa, is on an extended weekend vacation, so Emily stayed over last night and we got to take her to the first day of school. “The excitement only lasts for a day,” the experienced eleven-year old sixth-grader explained. “After that, it’s just like back to normal.” Emily was ready for school and out in the car waiting long before it was time to go today. Here she is in her first day school clothes.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Labor Day swim

Stan and Emily tried out the new pool today at the Plaza. The water was fine. It was a suitable send off for our granddaughter who starts school tomorrow. She gave Grandpa a good work out.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Painted Ladies

We were so excited today. Pulling in to the yard we saw what appeared to us to be, at long last, a ton of monarch butterflies. Alas, our Facebook friend and others have identified them as Painted Ladies. Oh well. They sure are pretty.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Getting ready for the Move

Our records may be incomplete on this, but over 12 years ago, Solveig and Bill Shearer thought these stone frogs would be just the thing for our back yard, and they FedExed the couple to us from their California home. The sculpture has stood though a dozen winters and summers and has gained a nice patina. Recently Solveig expressed some angst that the duo would be thoughtlessly abandoned, now that we are moving to the Big City.
Fear not, Sosie. Today Andrew scrubbed the sculpture, removing moss in preparation for putting it in a place of honor just outside our new digs.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Don't you just know it?

That's Kathleen at the top of the world's largest traveling ferris wheel today. The photographer stayed behind. Somebody had to hold her purse.
Murphy’s Law prevails!
No sooner had we climbed aboard the express bus to the Minnesota State Fair today, when Kathleen felt a vibration on her phone.
We had listed our house a month ago and so far have had only one measly showing, so we figured we were safe for a day on the town. But just to be sure, Kathleen had straightened a few things. So when she listened to the voice mail over all the bus noise, all we could do was call back, say Yes to the agent, and call the neighbors and ask them to take out the dog and turn all the lights on.
Good neighbor John agreeably said he would then told us to enjoy this fair.
"Gracious. Can't a girl get some privacy?"
We did.
Among the usual thrills, Kathleen took a ride on the world largest ferris wheel. . and rated it a big zero. Too sedate for her. But she was transfixed by a Holstein licking the after-birth off her newborn so long that we got caught later in rush hour traffic.
As soon as we had boarded the bus for home, the phone rang. Could we do another showing in five minutes? Well geezze, okay. We called the neighbor again and he was still willing to go over a second time.
Give that man some state fair fudge.
We’re staying home on Friday just in case.
Murphy’s law.
Stan drove a Farmall  just like this one all by himself on Ruby and Al's farm in Brandon. He was four years old and
well trained. No helmet for him.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Get, go, gone. . .

And the winner is. . .

The Veterans Administration is conducting a colon cancer study that may change the way the disease is diagnosed.
I volunteered because I’m due anyway.
They divide us into two groups. Group A gets a kit and simply mails in a personal sample taken in the privacy of your home and the results are studied. Group B is the control group and gets the traditional classic colonoscopy we all know about.
To find out which group you are in, they tossed our names in a hat (actually, a randomizer) and selected the groups.

Rats. I have never won anything in my life.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Shop 'til you drop

As soon as Bill and Virgil finish their shopping, Kim and Virgil can head home to Minnesota. They've had a wild time at Solveig and Bill's CA place.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Salsa with eggs

Photo by Kathleen Rolfsru
We went downstairs for breakfast at Danny's place today. While we were waiting for our eggs they started pushing aside the tables and chairs in the Global Market and playing salsa music. Pretty soon a man called Rene was giving a salsa class, something they do ever other week. We watched and couldn't help but get into it.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Passing of the archives

It took two carloads and six Rolfsruds to get 'er done, but the family archives have successfully been turned over to the next generation. Meet the new custodians.
The late Erling N. Rolfsrud was a meticulous record-keeper, scrapbooker and saver. His late wife was like-minded. Both have passed on and left this trove of artifacts, too good for heirs to throw and hard to keep, especially given that we're downsizing and moving to a new location.
After numerous invitations to family members, Breck was the first to volunteer to take a look at all the material, followed by her brother, Ford and family, encouraged by their mother and father.
We're delighted by their decision to remove it intact, relieving us entirely of the burden, and gamely taking on the chore of "looking things over."
Their grandparents would be proud and grateful.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Our daughter phones it in

Ely, Nevada

Good morning Mom and Stan,

I hiked 8 miles at Arches National Park yesterday and it was so beautiful. Actually all of Utah is so beautiful! Then I was driving across Utah on Highway 50 and I met a walking Monk on the road. I stopped to see if he needed a ride, but of course, he didn't -- because he is the walking monk.
In Ely, Nevada, now, gassing up. Hope you guys have a great day!
I love you.

Jennifer and her walking monk. He's got a website, of course,

Monday, August 07, 2017

A small announcement

Ruby Rose
The excitement was palpable. What could it be? Virg's cryptic invitation to dinner gave few clues. Kim would have an "announcement" it said. Actually, a "small" announcement. We looked for "tells." Was it time to break out the champagne... again? Time would have to tell.
We arrived right on the dot for dinner last night. As usual. There were still no clues, and believe me, we looked. We turned in our dinner wine house gift, no champagne this time, didn't want to jinx anything.
Right out of the oven.
When Virg's sons and Amber arrived, Kim busied herself on her laptop... mysteriously searching for some "ultrasounds.."
What! Nah, couldn't be.
 By then, even Kim couldn't keep a straight face. The big reveal: Ruby Rose, a brand-new shitzu that will join the household when she's old enough. She couldn't get any cuter and hopes are high for the perfect dog.
Announcement complete, Kim returned to the kitchen, producing a fabulous roast beef dinner, with carrots and potatoes, -- and green beans, finished by a homemade peach crisp that you could top with ice cream and chocolate. We did.
Can't wait for the next "announcement."

From left, Aaron, Amber, Alex, Virg, Kim, Kathleen 

Monday, July 31, 2017

For Sale

We go on the MLS on Wednesday. Still have a carpet to shampoo. Here are links to a drone's eye view of the property and the results of a photo shoot.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cast of characters gathers on the shores of Lake Agnes

Cast members insisted that host Charlie Olson be in the official photo, even if he didn't have a stick. That resulted in Roger Schultz (Stage Left as Judge Brack) being cut out totally, bald head, silver mustache, grin and all. Oh well, his lovely wife made it.
The event was a regular gathering of old thespians for a dramatic reading of Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabbler,” a lengthy but worthwhile play from the late 1800s. Stroke therapists told Stan to challenge himself with new things and this was certainly it for someone who hasn’t taken a part since Sir Joseph Porter of the “HMS Pinafore,” in eighth grade — unless you count being in the chorus in the 1967 Concordia College Production of  “Camelot,” with but one line (which was performed with perfection nightly): “There he is!” 
High School chum Betty Larson invited Stan to drive up and join the unnamed group of players to take the part of George Tesman, the boring husband of Hedda Gabler — Betty’s role, well played. Charlie and Mary hosted the group in their beautifully restored lodge on the shores of Lake Agnes in Alexandria, spreading a buffet luncheon for the reunion of former classmates and others with plenty to talk about.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Live long and prosper

Hi Mom and Stan,
Marcy and I went to listen to the Minnesota Orchestra play the music for Star Trek while viewing the movie on a big screen above their heads. Several people were in Star Trek get up, including my cool sister Marcy, so I wore black and did my hair in a funky style. We had lots of fun!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Remembering Paul

The late Paul Donley earned an athletic scholarship to Concordia College. No thanks to me.
Paul was built for football. Tall, rangy and with some bulk, he was just the thing for the trenches at Jake Christianson stadium in Moorhead. Basketball, not so much. His big brother, Bill, earned a football scholarship too. Bill had distinguished himself in high school, not only on the gridiron, but by ruling the outdoor rink. He played hockey outdoors at Concordia too.
None of that for Paul. He came in from the cold immediately after high school football season was over.
That’s where I got to know Paul, playing basketball for the mighty Alexandria Cardinals. Paul was the red forward, I was black. We scrimmaged daily, grunting, sweating, pushing and shoving each other. Paul was a senior, I was a junior.
Paul was a natural educator with a permanent spot on the second string. He made it clear immediately what he was there for. He had no aspirations to take my place on the starting team, he just wanted to stay warm and make me better. And teach he did. Each afternoon he would take on the personna of the weekend foe, pretending (sometimes comically so) to be whomever I would face that weekend. “Here’s Lyle McIver,” he would say, trying to emulate Lyle’s move to the baseline, or, “I’m Bob Peterson.” No one asked him to help out the coach. He just did it.
We were going hard at it, five-on-five, one day when Paul spotted something unusual out of the corner of his eye.
“Goose” he panted subversively under his breath, using the nickname he had invented and encouraged everyone to use. “There’s a recruiter down on the other end, he’s scouting me for Concordia.” Then he conspired, “When we get under that basket, and if I get the ball, give me a shot. Let me have an unobstructed jumper.”
I agreed to the ruse, of course, wondering how his dubious jump shot could possibly help get him a football scholarship, but oh well. Meanwhile, he was probably already dreaming of making an impressive, unimpeded jump shot right in front of his recruiter, swish, nothing but net.
Unfortunately, the coach blew his whistle, and we started a different drill, now staying under the same basket, with Paul’s group on permanent offense while we worked on something or other on defense. Time passed. 
Our plan would soon go very much awry. 
Eventually, Big Paul was passed the ball in a perfect position for a jump shot attempt. He gathered himself, almost in slow motion, trusting now to so easily take a classic 60’s jump shot, releasing the ball from his fingertips in a confident moment of grace.
The ball ricocheted hard off the concrete wall, slapped to the side in a solid, humiliating shot block. 
I was still in the air when I realized what I had done. To my horror, my mentor, my friend, had thought the conspiracy was still on, regardless. I did not. The result was a mashup of miscommunication, raw instinct, and habit. No wonder his jumper had been so easily blocked.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry,” I said lamely to my crushed teammate. “I don’t know what happened. I thought we were going to wait to get to the other end of the court where your friend is standing! It was the wrong basket! Sorry!” 
“That was really low,” he said sadly, shaking his head at his pupil, who stood ashamed and misunderstood. Paul spoke with little emotion. He didn’t have to.
We”ll never know if the recruiter actually saw that disaster. We do know that Paul got his scholarship anyway, got his degree, then went on to distinguish himself as a gifted educator.
Paul suffered about a dozen heart attacks before one finally took him last month. His obituary impressively tells of his lifelong association with education throughout the state, concluding that Paul will be remembered for his commitment to education, his unwavering devotion to his family, and his life-long friendships. 
Sadly, he got no help from me.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Three generations under the drone

Sam, Grandpa John, Tom--Sam's Uncle, who let her try flying it today.

Tom pilots the new drone home, above, as Grandpa and Sam watch. Tom brought the new GoPro drone and camera to our neighbor John's backyard today, skillfully navigating his machine about before bringing it in for closer inspection. This model is quiet, has a stabilized camera, and costs about $1000. We won't worry about him looking into our windows; he's packed it up and will take it with him when he's done visiting.


Wine center, left, -- puppets, ships and other hobby craft built on white area.
Therapy comes in many forms. Now that laptops and smaller devices are in vogue, we don't need the big computer room in the basement built in the days of the big XTs and their bulky support equipment. And besides, we had a real job back then.
Using materials from two walls that were torn out, we recycled the space into this hobby shop, complete with easy chair for the occasional rest. Stan did most of the work, with Andrew pitching in as needed.
Caitie, personal trainer at Dakotah
The space was built from "mungo" -- stuff that sits around the garage because it's too good to throw away. The painted area is the new bench made from mungo, the wine storage is not painted and was in the original room.
Stan spent a lot less time in the gym to get this project completed, but using a power driver, chop saw, hammer and climbing a ladder seems every bit as therapeutic. (Don't worry Caitie, he's coming back to the gym for more dumbbell and machine work.)
We continue to be grateful for Stan's stroke recovery.

Monday, July 10, 2017

You can do it. . .

A brand-new barn swallow got out of his nest and peered over the edge of the deck, a 15-foot drop to a concrete patio. Nonetheless, the fledge had a successful flight moments later. The barn swallow nest has become a source of controversy. Their dirty nests attach to the house and leave a mess, mom and dad swallow attack passers-by. But they're so cute.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Jennifer's new floor

Jennifer and Terry -- a killer floor team it turns out -- installed this wooden floor during the past week, one nail at a time. The tough part was making the trap door, but they did and it is smooth as silk. The house is looking good.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Birth Day and Abbey Point Night combine for nice evening out

That's a new birthday shirt he wore to Abbey Point night. New neighbors, Kitty and Stacey are to his left. 
A handy carrying case is included.
In a happy coincidence, Stan's birthday was on the same night that the neighbors gather each month -- the first Wednesday of the month. Earlier today during birthday week, Andrew presented an Impact Wrench and bits to the birthday boy. Just the thing for someone who already has a power screwdriver from a previous event. Please note that the driver matches the jacket and safety glasses. It was a nice birthday, more to come.
It's Birthday Week, ya know.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Happy Birthday dinner at Jordan

Longtime business associate Laurie treated us to dinner out tonight at the Jordan Steakhouse, the first 70th birthday celebration this week for her old partner in crime. She's now the publisher of four Scott County newspapers. Topping it all off, of course, was a free birthday dessert.

Mrs. Columbo

We've been watching reruns of "Colombo," the detective who constantly references his wife during the show but we never actually see her. Andrew, left, does the same. He's been helping us on some projects and he often refers to his partner. We've heard so much about her over the months, but never met her so we took to calling her "Mrs. Columbo," and told Andrew that he didn't actually have a significant other, that she probably didn't exist... except in his imagination.
Well, yesterday Andrew put an end to all that when she drove out to the house for a chat and a bite. So, Mrs. Columbo exists! Nice meeting her at last.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Take all the leaves you want, please leave the flowers

Photos by Stan Rolfsrud

A fawn dropped by this afternoon (a male, we checked) to look over the premises and greet the golfers on No. 14.  This done, he came over to the pond and continued his forage. He's too young to fear humans, and there was no sign of mama. He''ll have much to report on the day's adventure.

ahh! That's the spot, just under the eyelid.