Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

This morning Raven and I walked up to the World War I memorial in our neighborhood. There were a few people gathered around, perhaps remembering loved ones lost to war or who may have passed on at home. Small flags encircled the memorial, with a larger flag towering above the stone pictured here. All along Victory memorial drive are markers of those in Hennepin County who gave their lives in the Great War (what World War I was called before WWII). Today flags are set next to each marker, lining the parkway. There will be a parade later, and a gathering at the flagpole--chairs and a podium were set up when Raven and I walked by.

We admired the salvia planted in V shapes--red, white and blue. Then we walked farther down to see the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

The sun is coming out after a mostly cloudy morning, and I hear the hum of lawnmowers down the road. It's a beautiful day to enjoy and remember the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for our freedom. We can celebrate days like these as free people because others served and died.

I'm glad we still set apart a day like this. Thank you to all who have served our nation. We are forever grateful.

Till next time,


PS Pictures were taken from this site.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Eleven Year Itch

I have shingles.

It's not the first time. Eleven years ago, while we were camping in July, I was complaining to Tim that an area around my eye was itching, and I had a rash. When I went to the doctor, he discovered that my blood sugar was around 200 and that I had shingles.

He put me on pills right away--big horse pills for the shingles, and glucophage, I think, for my diabetes. Up to that point I had been labeled "glucose intolerant." Now I was a Real Diabetic.

Now the shingles has come back, but this time on my back--the right shoulder blade. I thought it was just a bug bite, but it never seemed to heal or stop itching. Also, my skin was sensitive to clothing.

So, I knew I'd have to deal with clothing against my skin, so I decided to go to urgent care. They confirmed my self-diagnosis. Now I'm on pills again, but the case is not very severe and the doctor says I'm healing already. He said most doctors wouldn't even give me anything for it, but he gave me a prescription any way.

About this time last year I was anemic and needed four blood transfusions (over the course of a few days), so this is really nothing. I know some people suffer terribly from shingles, but this is really more annoying than painful.

I'm grateful for the internet (I read up on shingles at the Mayo clinic website), doctors, and meds. I'm also grateful for health, which thanks to gadgets (insulin pump) and prescription drugs, keeps me in pretty good shape.

I hope to make it through the next 11 years without any serious health issues.

Maybe even beyond.

Till next time,



Friday, May 25, 2007

Busy busy

Well, it's been pretty busy at work. Tomorrow is graduation at the college--next Saturday is graduation for the seminary. Today and Wednesday at the seminary I helped count and assemble gowns, caps, tassles and honor cords.

It's kind of sad to see all the college students packing up for the summer. I've gotten fairly close to some of the seniors who are graduating. Next week I'll only work two days at Anthropology/Sociology, then I'm off till mid-August. I'll be at the seminary for most of the summer at 20 hours a week.

Cornerstone will come up before we know it. This year it's June 25-30, a week earlier than usual. Cheri and I are hoping to travel to Tennessee after that, but that time will be too short.

But, I won't wish summer away before it's even here! I'm very happy that my irises are blooming this year! Late last fall, I bought a shovel (the hardware store man asked me if I knew it wasn't a snow shovel) and I dug up my bulbs. If I'd done a better job, I'd probably have more blooms, but last year I had none, so the dozen or so that have come up so far are very welcome.

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Till next time,



Sunday, May 20, 2007


Tim has blogged!

Till next time,



Monday, May 14, 2007

Motoring to work

Here I am on my scooter outside my office with TA (teaching assistant) Maren and my supervisor, Professor Jim.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

I know it's a well-known fact, but it is really true. You don't appreciate your parents until you become one yourself.

That is definitely true for me.

I have a little story about my mom and me. Once, when I was about two years old, I guess I was a handful. I always say it is because I turned out so great now, that my parents say this about me because I was too young to remember that I was apparently so bad. There is really no evidence of this, except perhaps the slightly chipped tooth my older sister has from where I threw the Viewmaster at her.

Anyway, at one particularly exasperating moment in my toddlerhood, my mother said, "I hope you grow up and have a little girl just like you!" I think she meant this as a sort of a curse, and there are days when I agree that's just what it was (love you Christina!).

But in reality, this statement turned out to be a huge blessing. Because you see, after giving birth (emergency C-sections in both cases) to wonderful boys, Tim and I decided we would like to think about adopting a girl. My parents lived in Romania at the time. Also at the time, there were many children in orphanages there who needed homes.

I brought this up to my parents, and they sprung into action (after a brief period of "huh?" Then I think my mom remembered the "curse."). My dad wrote me a letter with all the things I would have to do to adopt their first granddaughter (my older sister--right, the one with the tooth--had three boys). My dad's co-worker Mia sprang as well, and found an orphanage and a beautiful little blonde girl.

Armed with power of attorney, love, devotion, determination and lots of prayer, Mom got my little girl for me. My parents were her foster parents. My (younger, perfectly toothed) sister met her before I did (mom's plane to Minnesota stopped in Chicago first).

Anyway, Christina has been an amazing blessing to our family. Have there been trying times? I write this toward the end of her teen years (she's 17) and I say, yes, definitely. Would I go through this again? Yes (I'm not sure Mom would!).

So, happy Mother's Day, Mom, to the one who not only gave me life so I could pass that gift on to my two boys, but who prayed and cried and worked very hard to get a sweet little Romanian girl to a waiting home in Minnesota. I can never thank you for all you have done for me and my siblings over our lifetimes, but this precious gift of a daughter is the most amazing gift you have ever given me.

Thanks to Mia, too, who was such a support to Mom and without whom the adoption would never have taken place. You, too, are like a mother to Christina. Thanks Dad, too, for making it all possible by moving with Mom to Romania and being such a support to her through the process.

Love you Mom!!!! You are the best!



Thursday, May 10, 2007

May, mid-life, and .....

I have been waiting to blog about this till I told my parents. Now I have done so.

They, especially my dad, were concerned. Perhaps even a stronger word than concerned. But we have talked a second time, and I have promised them I will be very careful.

Actually, I blame my sister (sorry Cheri). She told me last week that she heard that the price of gas may go up to $4 this summer. So, I said to Tim, "Maybe we should get a motorcycle."

All day Saturday Tim looked at scooters. Late Saturday afternoon, he whisked me down to Scooter Squad to look at a 125 cc Yamaha Vino.

Tim bought me a scooter for our anniversary. I'll try to post a picture soon.

I thought it would be nice to ride to Bethel during the summer. It's not a heavy duty motorcycle, but it is strong and stable. It's also pretty (wine colored and silver).

On Monday during lunch, I took the motorcycle permit test. (You need to have a motorcycle endorsement to ride this bike.) I passed: 91 percent!

It was rainy on Tuesday, so I practiced riding last night before sunset. Oh, some conditions of driving with a permit (which is good for one year): no night riding, no freeway riding, you must wear a helmet, and you can't take on passengers.

Today I rode to Bethel and back on side streets Tim showed me (in the Highlander) on Sunday. It is actually a pretty straight shot and fairly easy. It took me awhile to figure out how to turn the turn signal off, though (you must do it manually, by pushing the button on the turn signal switch).

I stopped at Anthropology/Sociology before going to the seminary for my meeting at 2 pm. One of our TAs was there, meeting with other students. A couple faculty were there as well. One of them grabbed a camera and the posing began. When I posed with Harley (the name of a faculty member), I said, "I'm with my Harley!" Even the department chair eventually got back and stopped up for a picture.

I found a spot at the seminary to park (Safety and Security advised me not to park on asphalt on warm days--the kick stand will sink in the tar and the bike will topple), so I parked in a grassy/dirt spot, putting a piece of wood under the kick stand. The meeting went well, and I made it safely back home. Oh, I also wore my orange florescent vest so drivers could spot me.

Tomorrow I have to pick up some flowers after work, so I'll probably drive the car. Next week, who knows? Tim and I plan to take a class to learn more safe riding habits.

I never dreamed I would ever ride anything motorized by myself except a car. But don't worry. I don't plan to graduate to anything bigger than my Vino any time soon.

Besides, Yamaha Suzi sounds better than Harley Suzi. Now I just have to find those leather pants and coat...how does a tattoo that reads "I love my Mom and Day" sound?

Till next time,



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy birthday Mom!

Today is my wonderful mom's birthday. I wish she weren't so far away--she and dad are in Tennessee and Tim and I are here in Minnesota. Too many miles between us.

Phone calls and emails help, but it's not the same as seeing my mom's smiling face or feeling her warm hugs around me. She is such a joy to everyone who meets her--she is a very bubbly and caring person.

She worked hard to raise us four kids, taking on a job first as a waitress, then in retail, as we all got close to college. She and dad helped all four of us graduate with college diplomas.

But more important than that is the love and prayers she gave and said for us over the years. In all of her correspondence to us, she signed it, Love and prayers, Mom. I can't tell you what it's been like to have a mom like that praying for me--for us all--for the past 50 or so years.

I'm writing this at the end of the day, Mom, so I hope your day was happy. Thanks for all you've done and for all you continue to do for me and us all. We love you!

Love and prayers,



Monday, May 07, 2007

Happy Anniversary Honey!

It's been 24 wonderful years of wedded bliss (well, mostly bliss). I'm so grateful to be married to such a terrific guy. Thank you, Tim, for your love, patience, kindness, and fun spirit.

We now have two kids out of the house, one to go. European vacation here we come!

Well, we can dream, right? How about a weekend at a bed and breakfast for our 25th?

Till next time,



Thursday, May 03, 2007

School is winding down...

It is May, my favorite month of the year, but also usually a busy one. The school year is "winding down," which means things are pretty busy at work. I'm done with my Anthropology/Sociology job for the summer on May 31--and won't be back at it till mid-August. The seminary job continues till mid-June, and I'm helping out during July while a couple of people are on vacation/maternity leave, and then back to "official" duties at the seminary also in mid-August.

Christina still has school through at least the first week in June. No graduation parties to plan this year (whew)--but it's hard to believe next year will be my last! For several years in a row, I had high school graduation parties every year, when we hosted exchange students. Now I've had a break in 2005 and again this year. I'm not complaining....

I love waking up to cool weather in the morning and walking before it's too warm, and enjoying cool evenings as well. Soon enough it will be hot 24/7. The lilacs are starting to bloom, and it looks and smells lovely outside.

Till next time,


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