Saturday, June 24, 2017

“Summer Arrives on August 21”

That’s what my aunt used to say about Summer in Minnesota.  It was more like, “Summer arrives on August 21, at 2:15 in the afternoon.”  We may be looking at that this year and, you know what?  I’m okay with that!  It’s a tad after 11 AM and 56F outside with overcast skies.  Sure is looking like rain, which is in the forecast, so I may be taking Dave to work.  I’m okay with that, too!

Sherry, (In the Direction of Our Dreams) yes, I do play the frame drums.  Well, not so much now because I haven’t found a drum circle here yet or, rather, a drum circle hasn’t found me.  You know how that goes.  From about 2003-2005, I was a regular in a circle some of us gals started back in Brenham, TX.  Two or three of us took yoga together at the health food store, which was this lovely log building.  Yoga classes were held in a big room upstairs.  So, one of the gals asked me after class, “Would you be interested in getting a drum circle going?”  And we did!  New Moon circles became a ritual (pun absolutely intended!) for us ladies, and our group grew, as did my drum collection.

My Bear drum was custom designed and painted, and embodies my Spirit Animal Bear.  That’s my Spirit Drum, and I don’t lend it out at circles.  The others were available for folks to try out at our gatherings … but not Bear. I really didn’t know what it would look like until I received the drum.  I had spoken with the vendor about “my Bear” and he relayed those thoughts, impressions, and feelings to the artist.  The result was amazing.  And perfect.

Fast forward to 2008 or so, I’m remarried and we were living in the Austin area.  I took a freebie djembe class at Drumz in Austin and was hooked.  Or was it addicted? Teehee! Ended up with my own djembe, took classes with Sherry Gingras (owner of Drumz) and participated in area circles which she facilitated.  What a joyous hoot those were!  A church in my neighborhood graciously allowed me to hold circles at their facility; however, I left the area before getting that one really established.

How the heck this turned into a drumming post … I have no idea!  Ha!  That’s sort of the way both blogging and drumming seem to go.  They just happen  sometimes.

Going along with that theme, one of the “happenings” in town this summer will be a healing powwow at the medical center.  How convenient is that?  I can see the hospital from here.  I haven’t been to a powwow almost 10 years, and now I’ll be able to walk to one!

Well, it’s our “Wednesday,” and pretty soon we’ll both be heading to work.  I may take Dave today, as it’s already been raining a bit and looks like more on the way.  Then I’ll come back home, have some lunch and settle down here at my desk again for my workday.

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Groovy Weekend and Other Such Haps

We’ve been busy since I last posted.  Busy with our routine schedules, but we’ve also done some fun things.  This weekend was totally groovy.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to say that.

Storms 06212017

We’ve had storms this evening, and the weather sirens were cranked up a couple of times.

We traveled about 100 miles east to Hibbing, where we lived from 2005 until 2007, and where my uncle (in his 90s now) still resides.  We’ve been trying to get over there for several weeks on our days off, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating.  Yesterday was the day!  Once we reached Grand Rapids, we were in familiar territory and traveling back in time.  Dave once worked a few weeks at the paper mill in GR during his time as a pipefitter back then.  The paper mill is still in operation, as is the wee hotel where he stayed.  Crazy.  Grand Rapids to Hibbing was totally familiar, and we kept pointing out landmarks we remembered.

Road construction was evident in Hibbing, as it was all along the route from here to there.  Summertime is when road crews are able to make necessary repairs, so delays are just a fact of life up here.  Sadly, Hibbing is looking even more depressed and stagnant with the passage of these 10 years since we lived there.  Essentially dependent on the taconite mining industry which is pretty much nonexistent now, the town simply is not thriving.  More businesses have closed, including the Kentucky Fried Chicken that had been there forever.  (We learned that from my uncle.)  One of our fave restaurants is long gone, and they did a pretty good business.  Lowe’s opened in 2006, and that has been the last major player to enter the Hibbing scene.  There really is just nothing going on with the town … no attempts at revitalization, etc.  The current economy cannot sustain that, and there have been apparently no attempts to boost income with any sort of tourism and so forth.

That aside, we did cruise by the two residences where we lived.  One was a duplex, and it looked pretty sad … certainly the tenants and landlord are not keeping up the place as we did.  The other house we rented is now up for sale, and the yard looked pretty overgrown. Funny, we had both forgotten how we painted the cement front porch and steps; however, driving down the street to the house, that memory was suddenly a vivid recollection. 

We had an outstanding visit with my uncle.  He and I speak every week to 2 weeks on the phone, but I honestly never expected to see him again.  So very good to sit with him in his living room and talk, and to exchange hugs and kisses.

We made it home safe and sound that evening with carry-out pizza for our meal in the coziness of our own place here. 

Today … wow, today!  This week is the 2017 Air Race Classic – a cross-country race for women pilots from Maryland to New Mexico – and Bemidji Regional Airport is one of the checkpoints.  Awesome!  After speaking with the airport last week, I knew the majority of the racers were anticipated today.  Racers have the option of doing a flyby, landing for fuel, or stopping for the night.  (Racers have to be landed by sunset each day.)  I experienced an almost-buzz walking into the supermarket.  Sitting at the stoplight coming home from the market, I experienced a honest-to-goodness buzz.  Whoohoo!  Yes, I was the crazy lady sitting in my car whooping and laughing.  “Oh my gosh!!  That was such a rush! “  Once home, I was getting some things out of the car and another racer was approaching overhead.  My neighbor/friend was out, so I pointed to the plane and called her name.  She saw it.  We saw several more while visiting and, yes, we were the two silvered-hair “crazy ladies” waving.  I had to run to Walmart for a few things, and I noticed on my way out that she had indeed gotten out chairs and was set for more viewing.  I heard probably 5-6 planes buzz over Walmart while I was inside.

So I basically did my marketing and shopping walking around the stores grinning like a Cheshire cat.

I’ve been able to follow race progress with the interactive map, and even listen to pilot-control tower chatter, so it’s been a pretty fun couple of days. 

It is experiences such as this I had been missing until we moved here.  Experiences I had not had, really, since we were in New Jersey.  Moments that cause me to laugh outright with joy, to “whoop!” and that cause my soul to soar.  Sure do like living here.

Back to between last post and our weekend …

Lake view 06142017

We took a stroll around Diamond Point Park at Lake Bemidji after attending the library book sale.

Totem at BSU 06142017

Totem on the campus of Bemidji State University at Diamond Point Park.

Treasures 06142017

More treasures being unpacked and enjoying being out in the Light again.

Drums 06142017

My drums will go on a wall somewhere, just not sure yet (drums are bigger than this photo seems).

Djembe 06142017

Took my djembe for a wee spin on the porch.  It still sounds and feels great!

Rocks on shelf

Picked up this shelf for my stones at the antiques flea market recently.  Good find for $4.00.

Bookcase 06212017

Went to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store today to check out a cedar chest posted online.  (We’re still looking for an entryway bench of some sort for where we take off shoes.)  While it was in very good condition and was a quality piece at a very reasonable price, it just didn’t say, “Take me home.”  This wee bookcase, however, did whisper those words to me and, at $3.00, how could I resist?  A dusting, cleaning and some furniture polish and … perfect!

That pretty much catches up from last post until now.    Tomorrow we’re back to work.  The days and weeks seem to be moving along at a pretty good clip.  That’s fine, because we’ve scheduled a few days off in July for a “staycation” and some R&R.  Who needs to go somewhere else when there’s so much to explore in our new hometown and the surrounding area!

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?





 



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Too Many Mosquitos for Photos

Pretty much had the day to play today so, while Dave was off on the bike, I took the Wee Beastie out for a bit of a run.

I headed out to Cass Lake, which is indeed a lake and a town.  Located in Cass County, MN, the town is within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. I stopped at the rest area just on the other side of Cass Lake (the town) that overlooks Cass Lake (the lake) and, although I could have gotten a couple of good photos from viewing points there, I didn’t.  Why?  Well, because as soon as I parked, the car was pretty much swarmed by mosquitos and what appeared to be smallish mayflies.  Yep, you get that out by the lakes in Spring/Summer here. 

Cass Lake (the lake) is rather picturesque, as seen from U.S. Hwy 2.

Today has been the first day we’ve had sunshine in … well … quite a few days, and the high was in the mid (?) 60s.  Nice!  This was the first time I’ve had Wee Beastie out on a highway, and I’m pleased with WB’s performance.  I even opened the solid cover of the sunroof and enjoyed the sunshine. 

Next time out, I think I’ll take that same route to Cass Lake, a bit more down Hwy 2 to Scenic Hwy 39 North, through Chippewa National Forest up to Blackduck (a town), and then head back home via US-71.  That should make a nice loop.

Still, I enjoyed my wee road trip and finally got to see what Wee Beastie will do performance-wise.

Once back in town, I stopped off at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to see what they have.  Still looking for the odd bit of furniture, etc.  Never know what’s going to show up in a secondhand place and prowling through is always fun.  Didn’t come across anything, but at least I’ve been there.  I kept missing the days/hours they are open lately, and it was a fun stop.

With all the rain and the trees doing their annual “dusting dance,” Wee Beastie needed a bath. 

Car wash 05242017

Sort of patriotic with the red, white and blue

The truck was so big I always hand washed it, so I hadn’t been in a car wash in close to 10 years.  What a hoot! 

We opted not to attend the community fish fry, enjoying a chicken stir-fry here at home.  We can see the big tent set up for the event from our front porch and, in fact, had been commenting on that for a couple of days.  It finally dawned on me yesterday it is over by the Paul Bunyan Communications building (which we can see from here but I didn’t realize it until now) and that’s what it is!

Fish fry 05242017

If you really look, you can see cars parked along the road across from the big white tent.

Small town, yes?  That, along with the fact that we’re on this side of town and there’s really no obstructions to our views.

Tomorrow we’re back to work, so we’re just enjoying the last evening of our weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there, okay?

“Friendship between two persons depends upon the patience of one.”  -  Native American proverb

 

 

 

Too Many Mosquitos for Photos

Pretty much had the day to play today so, while Dave was off on the bike, I took the Wee Beastie out for a bit of a run.

I headed out to Cass Lake, which is indeed a lake and a town.  Located in Cass County, MN, the town is within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. I stopped at the rest area just on the other side of Cass Lake (the town) that overlooks Cass Lake (the lake) and, although I could have gotten a couple of good photos from viewing points there, I didn’t.  Why?  Well, because as soon as I parked, the car was pretty much swarmed by mosquitos and what appeared to be smallish mayflies.  Yep, you get that out by the lakes in Spring/Summer here. 

Cass Lake (the lake) is rather picturesque, as seen from U.S. Hwy 2.

Today has been the first day we’ve had sunshine in … well … quite a few days, and the high was in the mid (?) 60s.  Nice!  This was the first time I’ve had Wee Beastie out on a highway, and I’m pleased with WB’s performance.  I even opened the solid cover of the sunroof and enjoyed the sunshine. 

Next time out, I think I’ll take that same route to Cass Lake, a bit more down Hwy 2 to Scenic Hwy 39 North, through Chippewa National Forest up to Blackduck (a town), and then head back home via US-71.  That should make a nice loop.

Still, I enjoyed my wee road trip and finally got to see what Wee Beastie will do performance-wise.

Once back in town, I stopped off at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to see what they have.  Still looking for the odd bit of furniture, etc.  Never know what’s going to show up in a secondhand place and prowling through is always fun.  Didn’t come across anything, but at least I’ve been there.  I kept missing the days/hours they are open lately, and it was a fun stop.

With all the rain and the trees doing their annual “dusting dance,” Wee Beastie needed a bath. 

Car wash 05242017

Sort of patriotic with the red, white and blue

The truck was so big I always hand washed it, so I hadn’t been in a car wash in close to 10 years.  What a hoot! 

We opted not to attend the community fish fry, enjoying a chicken stir-fry here at home.  We can see the big tent set up for the event from our front porch and, in fact, had been commenting on that for a couple of days.  It finally dawned on me yesterday it is over by the Paul Bunyan Communications building (which we can see from here but I didn’t realize it until now) and that’s what it is!

Fish fry 05242017

If you really look, you can see cars parked along the road across from the big white tent.

Small town, yes?  That, along with the fact that we’re on this side of town and there’s really no obstructions to our views.

Tomorrow we’re back to work, so we’re just enjoying the day evening of our weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be safe out there, okay?

“Friendship between two persons depends upon the patience of one.”  -  Native American proverb

 

 

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Officially Minnesotan

I can’t say that I have anything earth-shattering to share today.   We continue to give our new life a few tweaks here and there. 

I’m officially an Minnesota resident!  Woot-woot!  Last week I got myself down to the driver’s license exam office, took and passed my written exam.  That’s one more thing accomplished.  It was a bit nerve-wracking.  I mean, after all, I’ve been driving 40+ years, have driven coast-to-coast, north-to-south borders, in major cities like LA, Houston, Atlanta, etc., and towed our RV for 7 years with no mishaps.  Well, ya do what ya gotta do, so I just went and did it. 

Living room evening

The drapery hardware over the window on the left was not working properly, but one of the maintenance guys brought a replacement.  Now we can actually open and close the drapes on that window.  Yay!  Thank goodness for that. 

Lake by Sanford Center 05102017

We stopped by the South Shore area of Lake Bemidji last weekend while out toodling around.  Yes, it was pretty darn chilly and windy.  There’s a concession building of some sort behind us which you can’t see; I think it will be opening pretty soon, as the official start of the fishing season was this past Saturday.   This is down by the Sanford Center, which is our civic center here.   What you also can’t see in the photo is the bike station off to the left.  The station has an air pump and some of the stations have tool kits.  Cycling is huge here in Minnesota. 

Cycling the loop around Lake Bemidji is quite popular.  You can read about that here.

Some days we feel like we should pinch ourselves, that we’re really here.   At times during the dreaming/planning stages of this lifestyle change, we wondered if it were really going to be possible.  So far, we feel we made the right decision at the right time to make this jump.  I feel more that way about the car, the Wee Beastie,  (Ford Edge Sport) after having The Beast (Ford F-350) as part of our lives for so long.  The Beast sure was a great truck, but I am enjoying Wee Beastie.  Prowling around, exploring and parking are so much easier with WB, and it sure is a fun car to drive!

Our weekends now are relaxed.  There are no maintenance chores to be done, such as flushing the hot water heater, etc.  When the wind is howling, there are no slide toppers flapping accompanied by the concern that something might rip.  You get the idea. 

Seems like we have the time and energy to do a bit of exploring as above, to just chill out in our recliners watching a program on Netflix and to even doze a bit. 

Speaking of Netflix, we have been watching Shetland, and will wrap up the current series tonight.  It’s an excellent police drama, better than I expected.  Even if you’re not into the story, the scenery is worth taking a look at the program.

Lake 2 05172017

View of the lake today. How cool to be able to stop by the lake while out running an errand. Literally cool today again, in the 50s, misting rain and a bit breezy.  #smalltownlife #minnesotalife

Our communications company is a cooperative and next week is the annual meeting and Cooperative Celebration.  The fire department and a local grocery store are putting on a fish fry, and there will be entertainment for both young and old.  We’re contemplating attending, as we are members via having our internet service with the company.  Yeah, I know.  I can’t really believe it, either.  Us? At a community event?  We’ll see how things pan out, whether or not we go.

We’re still trying to get over to see my uncle, but either weather or colds (yeah, we’ve both got one) have been delaying that day trip.  It will be a nice run for the Wee Beastie and, who knows?  We might even sneak in a burger at the Thirsty Moose, which was a fave of ours when we lived in Hibbing.  Burger?  Pizza?  Decisions, decisions!  

Speaking of food, I want to make up some sausage kolaches and then it will be about time to put together the steak bridies for our dinner tonight.  The other nice thing about our life now is that it is cooler.  We’re running in the 50s-60s while Texas is heating up in the upper 80s-low 90s.  It’s cool enough here that cooking is actually a pleasure and, hence, I tend to think up more things to prepare – real meals again like when we were in Jersey.

My body really appreciates the cooler climate, and I feel much better. 

Ciao for now!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?

“Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own brining up and his sense of humor.” – Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman),Santee Sioux,1858-1939