Friday, August 31, 2007

Busy week, but it's Friday!

Wow, this has been a busy week.

I had a 670-piece mailing to get out, and with the help of some volunteers (including Tim, my friend Beckie, and Christina), it got done! Thank you all!

I rode my scooter to work today and yesterday. Yesterday I decided to park on a cement area behind some buildings--a location security had recommended to me when I first asked them about parking. Well, I thought it would be a great thing, riding my bike & parking there, because it was the first day of welcome week--and campus was filled with new students and their parents. So I parked my scooter behind another motorcycle and left.

At the end of the day, I came out to look for my bike. Instead of finding it, I found dozens and dozens of people in line for a barbecue at the exact place where my bike had been. That's right, I said BEEN. I thought, oh, no, I'm in trouble now.

But after hunting around a bit, I found it parked behind a gated area nearby. The event's caterers had probably moved it out of the way. Ay caramba! Then I had to carefully wheel my way through the throngs of people, in my leather jacket and helmet and all. What a sight! An almost 50-year-old lady clad in motorcycle gear, picking her way carefully among the similarly aged couples and their teen-age children.

Today's parking went much better. Even though I parked in the same spot, my bike was exactly where I left it and I had no trouble getting through.

Just wish the new construction on campus allowed me to park near the buildings where I work, but alas, my access is cut off by gates, fences, and big trucks carving out an enormous hole for our new University Commons.

Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Till next time,



Monday, August 27, 2007

Off to the doctor

I guess I never really quit being a mother. When the kids are hurt or sick, the Mom Role really kicks in.

This weekend, Christina was asking to go to the doctor. She was achy and really tired. Her throat was "the sorest it's ever been"--and she's had her share of sore throats.

The doctor in urgent care started asking questions. How long has the throat been sore--did it come on rather suddenly? He took a look and saw the sore, red, with white icky stuff tonsils. He did a swab for strep, but that came back negative.

Before Christina knew it, she was wisked off to the lab. She was told to get her arm ready for a blood draw, but she declined, so they squeezed blood from her finger instead. How hard can that be, she thought--my diabetic mom sticks herself there several times a day!

Well, her finger was sore, but the blood test told us what was ailing her. She has mono. The doctor proclaimed that she could not participate in sports for at least two months, and that she shouldn't work till further notice. Not much you can do about it, antibiotic-wise. Rest, tylenol/advil, fluids, etc . Go see your regular doc in the next couple of days.

Christina was bummed. This would mean she would miss volleyball season. But the doctor was concerned about her spleen and liver.

Fast forward to Sunday. (Urgent Care was Saturday) We are at a birthday party for our nephew Alex. (His birthday is a week before Tim's.) Our sister-in-law's sister, a nurse, is there. Mark shows her his wrist, which has a spongy lump on it. Better get it checked out, she advises. Could bed carpal tunnel or possibly an venal occulsion.

Monday I take time off work to meet my two kids at the doctor. In the old days, I'd pile them in the van and herd them into the office. Today, they met me there in their separate vehicles. I can from St. Paul, Christina came from Robbinsdale (home), Mark came from a job in St. Louis Park.

The doctor examined Christina. She has a mild case of mono and a fever of 100.3. The doc tells her to rest up, and she can return to work on Saturday and volleyball on Monday! Her liver and spleen aren't enlarged, so no danger of rupture at this point.

Mark has a spongy mass. No cyst, tumor, carpal tunnel, or anything. It doesn't hurt him, so he is sent on his way with a smile on his face and a little bit lighter wallet (he's got his own health insurance now that he's All Grown Up).

Mom is happy with the report.

Now, if only the health cards will come in from her new insurance company through work...

Till next time,



Sunday, August 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby!

Your head of hair keeps vacating your scalp to make room for more brain cells, Oh Master of Many Games. My favorite game is the one we play every day as Husband And Wife. It is my privilege to be married to you, and I'm glad you have now caught up to me in this 49th year. We will share this decade for only three more months, but I'm sure they'll be good ones.

Love you sweetie!



Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I forgot to say in my last blog that we took some back roads home from Duluth. And that we stopped in Superior, WI. And we looked up Tim's old roommate from seminary.

He is now the pastor of First Covenant Church in Superior. And, he is a close friend of Curt, my sister's friend with the head injury who was miraculously healed.

It's a small world.

After chatting with the pastor (Dennis) and his wife, Tim decided to head back home through Wisconsin. We took a scenic route south on Wisconsin 35. We kept looking for deer, but instead saw something else.

As we were cruising along the road, something big and black ran in front of us across the highway.

I thought it was a big dog. Wrong. You guessed it, it was a big black bear.

It galloped across the highway, not at all concerned about our approaching car.

"It's smarter than a deer," Tim commented.

We continued south and crossed over to Hinkley, MN. We went past the casino--where a whole other type of "wild life" enjoyed food, "fun," and gambling.

We ate at Toby's Restaurant--a delicious dinner. I looked at the homemade breads and pastries, but was too full from my Wild Rice Chicken Cashew Salad to buy anything else.

Monday morning, as I turned onto Bethel Drive to enter Bethel University's campus, I saw another wild site.

Three deer--a doe and two fawns. They stood and looked at my for a moment, then raced back to the "safety" of the wooded area.

Since then, the only wild thing I've seen is my itching, shedding dog and a lots of squirrels, bunnies and birds.

Guess I'm not hoping to see any bear in these parts.

Till next time,



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's been awhile...

Well, summer is winding down and preparation has begun for the school year! We said good-bye to Emi yesterday. There was a delay at the airport due to fog, rain and one runway being closed. I had to head back to work, but I left Emi in very capable hands. The people who run the St. Paul Intercultural Institute are amazing and had an equally amazing group of university students to work with.

We took Emi up to Duluth on Saturday. My sister was there to visit a friend who had been hospitalized with a head injury. Her friend, Curt, a pastor in Superior, WI, was supposed to be looking at weeks of therapy and a long road of recovery, slowing regaining memory and other things. He has been miraculously healed and went home from the hospital yesterday! Cheri tells more of the incredible story on her blog.

I went with Luke to the bookstore at Metropolitan Community Technical College last week. Classes start on Aug. 27--he plans to study biotechnology. I'm excited for him to be back in school full-time. He'll still be helping Tim occasionally and delivering pizzas as well.

Mark continues to work full-time with Tim--and now it looks like work is picking up! They've had a bit of a lull, but we are coming up to a busy season in remodeling.

Christina has been busy too--working and getting ready for her last year of high school. She started volleyball practice this week, and is looking forward to her World Religions college class (via Post Secondary Education Option--Minnesota colleges/universities partner with high schools to allow students to take college courses for high school & college credit while in high school--tuition free!)

We've been getting quite a bit of rain after a long, hot dry summer. Southeastern Minnesota has been hit terribly hard with flooding and even loss of life. The hard ground from the drought just doesn't absorb flash floods very well, and rivers have spilled their banks and many homes have been destroyed. We need to count our blessings.

It's been great being back at Anthropology/Sociology. And I have moved my registrar's office to the University registrar's office--it is just down the hill from Anthro/Soc. I still get to the seminary on Monday nights for SemPM classes. And though I'm working Thursdays, it's a shorter day, so though I work a 40-hour week, I still get to enjoy one short day.

Lots going on, lots to be thankful for. Hope you are enjoying your last days of summer! (or winter, if you're south of the equator!)

Till next time,



Monday, August 13, 2007

Gearing up

Yesterday and this morning were gorgeous, glorious days. Today, the temperature is creeping back up again, along with the dew point.

But fall is coming. I'm working five hour days till Thursday, when I'm back in the saddle at my Anthropology/Sociology job at Bethel. Today, I dropped off Emi in the morning, and walked her over to where she can meet me at the seminary tonight while I'm working.

Then I stopped in at Anthro/Soc to see if my professor pals were in.

They were! (Three of them, anyway.)

It was good to catch up and plan for this coming year. Students will be arriving on campus in a couple of weeks. It will be mayhem (it always is, to some extent), but more so this year because of the construction of a brand new wing to the college. Many parking spaces have been eliminated and it will be tough finding a spot. I'll have to ride my scooter in whenever possible to I'll have a place to park!

I know Tim always looks forward to fall after enduring work in hot buildings in the summer. May is my favorite month, but September and October are close seconds and thirds. I love the cooler temperatures and the beautiful foliage.

Raven's late summer itching has come on now--perhaps a bit later than last year--maybe due to the heat and drier conditions this year. He loves winter--rolling around, pushing his nose through, and eating snow.

Well, one season at a time. We'll enjoy late summer, fall, and then talk about winter's "pleasures."

Till next time,



Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hot enough to slice

It's so hot and humid, it feels like you can cut the air with a knife. Fortunately, about 3 am this morning, we had a good storm and got an inch of rain! I think it will storm again today or tonight.

I just read my nephew's blog, and he says it feels like 130 degrees working on the roof on houses in New Orleans. Yikes! Maybe I shouldn't complain so much. I think a trip to New Orleans in January would be more up my alley.

Our Japanese student Emi is spending a couple nights at her best friend's host family's house. I think they have shopping and movie-going on the agenda. Today has been an indoor day for me--just kicking back and relaxing at home. Tim and I watched Bruce Almighty today. It was weird--Tivo had it billed as Evan Almighty, but I think that may still be in theaters--or at least I know it hasn't hit the video scene, much less the TV screen. Bruce Almighty was a good movie with a good message. I guess I had assumed it would have been in poorer taste, knowing Jim Carey's humor in some instances. There were a couple things that could have been left out, but overall Tim and I enjoyed it. I thought it would be good to see it before Evan Almighty.

I suppose I should get off the computer in case it storms again. Tim got up at 3 last night to unplug everything just in case of a power surge (of course we have power strips, but you never know....)

Till next time,



Thursday, August 09, 2007

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

They have made it to 54--I'm hoping to make it to 25 (next May--if the Lord tarries and Tim and I do too, I think we'll be fine!)

It seems like yesterday that you were married 25 years--still acting like young marrieds! Thanks for the great examples!

Love you lots!



Saturday, August 04, 2007

Saturday snafus

Well, it should be a rather leisurely day, but soon after we woke up Christina came into our room exclaiming that she was late for work and she had a flat tire. So, Tim said, "Well, take the Highlander then." A minute later, she's back in the bedroom. "Does that little orange light by the big E mean anything?" Whoops, I forgot that I was running on fumes on the way home last night. So, I said, "Let me get dressed, get the dog, and I'll take Raven with you up to gas station, fill up, then I'll walk home with Raven and you can go on to work from there."

Little did we know that Tim had carefully placed his cell phone on top of the Highlander last evening, when I had asked him to help me bring some things in from our picnic last night. (We had a work picnic in the afternoon and the Japanese exchange students had a picnic/skit night last night. Both were very fun.)

Of course, Tim had planned to immediately retrieve the cell phone, but he forgot. In fact, he didn't remember he had put it up there until after Christina left for work.

It was raining this morning. Storms were forecast. Christina was in a hurry to get to work. Could any of this spell Safe Cell Phone?

I ran downstairs, woke poor Emi up, told her we'd be off looking for Tim's lost cell phone, and then dashed out the door.

We ran up to the gas station to see if it might have fallen and then been recovered there. No luck. We drove down the highways Christina would take to work (about 10 miles away), scanning the sides of the road. No luck.

Finally we got to Christina's work. We approached the Highlander. Would we find it? Did Tim really put it inside the car, not on top as he remembered?

And there it was, carefully lodged at the spoiler (is that what those things are called?) at the back of the top of the car. It has luggage racks, too, so we thought those may have saved it from going off when Christina was driving on two wheels (just kidding--she is a pretty safe driver...). Tim keeps his phone in a leather zipper case--if it were on its own, it would have gone sailing off much earlier (of course, then we might have found it in our driveway or yard....)

So, a happy ending for the phone. The not-so-happy ending is that Tim retrieved several phone calls and is now back at work when he had planned to spend the day at home--he is always on call as long as he answers or retrieves messages from his phone.

All of this pales in comparison to a collapsed bridge, I know. I think we need to take a deep breath, slow down, and move to Northeastern Wisconsin where the pace of life is a bit slower. Or maybe to some remote village in Alaska.

Ah, the grass is always greener on the other side of the snow bank. (We're thinking snow after all these hot days. Today is a lot cooler and nicer, however....)

Enough rambling,

Till next time,



Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridge collapse

I'm sure many of you heard of the 35W bridge collapse here in Minneapolis tonight just after 6 pm. Our son Mark exited just minutes before the collapse, and our son Luke drove over the bridge earlier today.

Everyone we know (at least so far) is okay. We are still waiting for a friend to come back with Tim's truck and trailer, and he's coming from the south end of town. He could possibly take that route back here, but we are hoping his delay is due to traffic and not because he was near the scene.

Tim travels over that bridge all the time. Luke said when he drove over it today, there was lots of construction, jackhammering, and concrete stripped to expose the steel underneath. It was very hot here today, so that could have contributed to the road buckling.

A school bus full of young people was safely evacuated, I believe. It seems dozens of cars fell into the water--the bridge crossed the Mississippi River.

We've been watching the coverage since minutes after it happened. I had turned on the news to see the weather, and caught this awful news instead.

Please pray for the victims and their families, and for the rescuers.

(Update on our friend: he arrived safely at our house around 9:15. He's going to spend the night. He was planning to go back to his empty apartment and sleep there. He's had quite a day--moving out of his apartment to his in-laws. He had heat stroke earlier in the day and hadn't eaten much today. I gave him a glass of iced tea and a big bowl of Neapolitan ice cream.)

Till next time,


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