Friday, May 20, 2011

Another week already

As mentioned at the end our our last blog, we were then headed back to the Minneapolis suburbs to attend a number of end-of-school-year functions that the granddaughters are participating in. We have already attended a musical program and have a skating show and a dance recital scheduled before we return to the cabin.  While back in the big city, we have also had many lunches and dinners (and a special birhtday party) with friends, family, and former neighbors.  The social schedule of a traveler is filled with fun!!

Too bad we haven't taken much in the way of photos.  While we have been here Spring has finally arrived, along with dandelions, flowering trees, and lilacs.  This is our favourite time of year.  By early next week we will be back up north and hope to catch spring's arrival once again as we finish the exterior work on the cabin.  We are already thinking that the interior work can wait until next year.

Our next big event will be sightseeing in Alaska.  Very rough plans have already been made and more details are now being worked out.  For the time being, we expect our departure for that adventure is about 2 weeks away, early in June.  In the meantime, we won't be able to update this blog for a week or so.  We hope to provide more frequent updates during our Alaska trip - as technology allows.

Friday, May 13, 2011

We’ve been working!

Another week has slipped by very quickly, so we must be having fun. Here it isThursday already. Last Thursday we left the suburbs of Minneapolis and parked the motorhome at the family cabin 200 miles away, to the north of Duluth. Spring hadn’t arrived there yet. The ice was off of the lake, but we saw a little snow in the woods along the way. We have a big project planned to recover the cabin’s siding with new vinyl before Memorial Day and there is a lot of preparation needed before that job starts. Brett and a friend had begun replacing some of the windows and a storm door a few weeks ago, and we brought up a few more new ones.

Here is some of their earlier work:
Here is what we found under what we expected to be an easy replacement.
On Friday and Saturday we got a couple of windows replaced and the electrical service changed.  So here is what it looks like now:
On Mothers’ Day Brett went back to his family in the Twin Cities, while we went to Paige’s folks place in Duluth. On Monday the power company reconnected the incoming line and we cleaned up our construction/destruction debris. There was no reason to rush back to the Twin Cities, so we stayed at the cabin for the rest of Monday and Tuesday. Sure is nice to have flexible schedules!

For the next 10 days, we will be back in the Minneapolis area, meeting with friends and taking in a variety of end-of-year school programs that the grand-daughters are involved with. We are seeing that the leaves here have just now opened and the first crop of dandelions are opening, so spring has arrived (like we saw a month ago in TN).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Great Day for a Parade!

Finally had a warm, sunny day!  Yipee!  And a busy day it was!

The morning started out with chores; laundry and cooking.  Then it was off to have lunch with Pam.  It was so good to spend time with her!  Did another insurance related errand then off we went to Valentina's school for her marching band event.

The Anwatin Middle School has a great band teacher who has the band do an annual march through the neighborhood.  What a great day for this!  We got there early but were on the side of the school where the band ended; not the start of the route.  Getting caught up to the band was an effort which we eventually accomplished.  Many of the neighbors came out of their houses to watch and give encouragement to the band.  They did a great job of marching, playing their music, and even doing some dance moves.  Here's a picture of the group (Valentina has her blue shirt over a white shirt in this picture):

Then it was on to the Midtown Global Exchange to meet KJ and Rob.  As this is where Allina is also located, we ran into many of Paige's former co-workers as they were leaving work.  It was fun to see so many familiar faces!  It was Rob's birthday so we went out for dinner to celebrate with friends!  He's trying to catch up to us.

We were so glad to be able to participate in these activities while back in the Minneapolis area!  Today we are heading up to the cabin and will be leaving the motorhome up there for the remainder of our stay in MN.  Brett and Bob will be continuing the installation of new windows and some electrical work.  We'll be back in Mpls next week and will be staying at Pam's.  Hope the weather stays warm now!!

Monday, May 2, 2011


It's been waaaaaay too cold here!  This weekend it's been down to the low 30's at night and only up to 40 during the day.  This is over 20 degrees below normal here!  This is the winter that just won't quit!

In spite of the weather, we've been able to see friends and relatives.  Friday night we went to Carrie's culinary school buffet which consisted of appetizers - MANY of them.  Very good!  We met Denny, Diane, Katie, and Jack there and had a great time visiting with them.  Jack sure is growing and a very cute baby!

Saturday was spent trying to stay warm and then spending the late afternoon and evening with KJ, Rob, and Jeff.  KJ fixed a ton of food and snacks as usual!  We got to meet their new dog, Cody, who is 13 weeks old.  Just a peanut!  We played games and got all caught up on news.  Here's Rob with Cody:

Sunday was spent at church, keeping warm, and then we got to meet up at Dave's place with him and Valentina.  Valentina was exhausted from a swimming club lock-in at the Y but we dragged her to a restaurant for supper.  It's so good to spend time with the kids and grandkids.

Today we're off to Sioux Falls to complete our residency changes.  Might as well do that since it's still cold out.  We're going to stop and visit Paul in Lake Crystal.

Retirement is feeling pretty real now that we're back in Minneapolis and STILL not working (while our friends still are)!