Saturday, April 26, 2008

HB Dadems

Hey Dadems!

Happy Birthday!!

You may have seen this already but I thought it was quite cute.

Love-all of us
Have a fantastic day!!!


Alright guess I was wrong!! Oh the joy of Minnesota springime.

Views out backyard.

So much for the softball practice we had scheduled for today.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh Sweet Joy!!

We Minnesotans are hardy. Even to the extreme where we take pride in how we persevere long boring cold cold snowy windy snow-up-to-your-hips conditions. After all-obviously if you can't take it, long winters are part of "the deal." Move somewhere else. So a little chest-pounding (and of course hopefully a week somewhere warm to break it up) is in order.

This winter was sssooooooooooo long. And crummy, cold, went on and on and on and on. I'm generally a "glass-half-full-type person" at least I hope that is how I am perceived. But this winter sucked rocks.

Today, sweet glory, the first tulips flowered. OK for some reason they are extremely "dwarfy". Sure yes I know time to switch out put in new bulbs. Regardless, to see them showing their delightful bright colors for the world to see -- was uplifting. I'm like "FINALLY!."

The teenagers were like "Sure Mom-great-tulips-wow interesting-let's go to school now c'mon."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


My 14 year old is periodically embarrassed by her mom. OK this probably is not uncommon. I'm sure all moms of teenagers do stuff that embarrasses them. Oh let me re-phrase. They are told by their teens with no filtered down-played business-like or euphemistic terms "MOM STOP IT. You are embarrassing me." The parent does something that dynamically and inexplicably "embarrasses" the kid. You cheer for them at a game. ("Mom don't cheer for me at the lacrosse game you don't know the rules"). Oh I can't think of any more examples-plus she will undoubtedly read this post and give me a hard time-ah well...

Or that's just what they tell you--that they are embarrassed and oh yes it's also your fault. It is what it is and you have to figure out what to say and/or how to respond.

I like to go to church. I'm a Lutheran. While some people go to church to listen to the sermon and gain spiritual growth and renewal through that, I go for the music. I love the music. Our church is quite large (OK think 15,000 members) which doesn't matter to me in the least but bottom line, means there are resources available. For me as a music lover, I am often "in heaven" listening to the music. A couple weeks ago we had a harpist and flautist play. My husband (bless his heart) saw my enjoyment of the pieces the 2 musicians played (one composed by the harpist) which I had made a side comment about. He picked up on it and bought 2 CD's. To my great interest and amazement I learned that goodness gracious they both had seats in the Minnesota Orchestra. Wow.

So back to the embarrassment theme. When a singer like Robert Robinson comes to sing, if I don't have a hanky or 2, I am in deep trouble. He is in my opinion an extremely gifted gospel singer. He rocks the sanctuary. OK these are Lutherans so maybe filter that down a little. Lutherans can be a bit "stiff." Perhaps instead I should say he rocks my soul. A my teenager is sitting next to me, going *sigh* oh no my mom is moved by this song how embarrassing she is crying with joy at how beautiful it is. MY mom used to do this and I was like "huh?" why are you crying? Beautiful music maybe should make you happy. I don't know-as a kid I just simply didn't get it. Ah yes-and neither does my teenager...

I am like my mom I guess. Thanks Mom for seeding that expression of emotion and positive absorption of beautiful music.

I have a new joy and passion. Thanks to my interest/time but also mostly to the guidance of my piano teacher, it's playing piano. In the last few weeks I have through her guidance and support started a new piece which is very difficult. Grieg's Wedding at Troldhaugen. I am now PLAYING a song that is beautiful enough to create these strong emotions. OK let me say that again because for me it has great meaning. Instead of listening to great music Vivaldi 4 Seasons or a great piece sung a cappella etc. etc. I am actually playing something that warms my heart in the same way.

Please-dear reader I do not wish this to be interpreted as bragging, it is truly expressing joy.

But I can't wait for Robert Robinson to come back and share his music again. Or ANY F. Melius Christiansen arrangement, a cappella or no. I am ready with multiple hankies in hand!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


S is 13. She belongs to Job's Daughters, a Masonic organization which honestly is foreign to me in my life experience. But it is great. They have a "ritual" assigned memorized parts. No makeup or nail polish for the meetings. Sound old-fashioned? Yes-but the purpose is that everyone is equal. The natural nature of the meetings puts everyone on even ground. It is not religious necessarily but basically patriotic and grounded in excellent morals. It's much deeper than this, but that's the general "sound bite".

One of the large state-wide annual gatherings is called Grand Bethel, where girls gather from across the state. Again-being "old-fashioned" there are competitions in scrapbooking, ASL sign language, recipes (every category you can think of). The ages of the girls are 10-11 to I think 20 is the oldest.

S last year entered a recipe for lefse. She is quite good at making it. Bless Grandma H. who has a passion for cooking and baking. Our tradition is to make lefse every Christmas Eve morning, for Christmas Eve dinner. OK-so literally we make lefse 1x per year. She embraces the girls and understands the importance of carrying on a Norwegian (family heritage) tradition. All 3 girls know how to do each part of the lefse process. Grandma truly understands how to teach -- her delegation skills are absolutely outstanding.

S last year won a coveted "golden spoon" award for her lefse. Lefse is quite "fussy" to make, and she did fantastic. Recipe is on Allrecipes. I submitted this recipe for her to the site, as per their rules she is too young to have an identity and submit recipes.

THIS YEAR-she decided to make another quite difficult recipe, and again won another golden spoon. Awesome! It was a very rich and utterly delicious chocolate raspberry torte-recipe from Epicurious. Also quite fussy, involves spring form pan, finishing with raspberry drizzle and chocolate crumbles. Very rich. We had the torte last spring at a family event. S-12 at the time immediately earmarked this recipe as the one she wanted to make for the competition. OK I'm her mom, but to me that was pretty darn impressive.

The weekend event is packed for time. The girls also dress up (think beautiful dresses you would wear at a black tie event). She tried her best to find the time to go taste her recipe, but there was none left when she was available for tasting. Yum.

I am so proud of our Golden Spoon winner.

Hey-if she's doing this now, just imagine the delectable delights that she can create and share in the future!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Always a New Surprise

Yesterday was kind of a weird day. It was a school day, and typically on Fridays I take the 2 older girls to Caribou. It's something we look forward to, and it's a nice way to end the week.
A-the oldest, talked me into letting her sleep in and miss an elective class, Singers, so not a big deal.
S-invited a friend to come to Caribou -- that was fine.
So I wake up at 6am, and my morning ritual (really my favorite part of the day) is I get up, hang out on the sofa and read. I am reading The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson. This is MY time and I cherish it.
So I hear the TV. Daughter #2 was in the shower, daughter #1 and #3 were presumably sleeping, so I thought -- what's up?
I go downstairs to find the Little Kid, watching TV on the sectional. I'm like-"how long have you been up?" She says, "since about 12:30am".
My first thought was oh the 7 year old didn't recollect or register the time correctly. NO WAY had she been up THAT long. I inquire, "Why didn't you come get me? I could have helped you get to sleep. Are you OK to go to school? You're not too tired, right?"
"Oh sure-I'm fine Mom."
I suggest that she goes to the big bed and watch TV. That way if she is sleepy she can fall asleep.
So off I go to Caribou. Meantime A gets up early (even though the plan was for her to sleep in), and is watching TV in the big bed too. Back from Caribou, of course the Little Kid was by then sound asleep.
Drive A to school. Little Kid still sound asleep. Canceled my client meeting that morning. I was thinking, well let her sleep for a couple hours, then take her to school. She loves school, and I thought she would be mad at me for letting her sleep. They had a spelling test too, otherwise just a regular day.
10am-she was SO groggy. Hm. She finally got up and went downstairs, watching TV, waking up. No use asking how she felt-she obviously needed a little time. I'm like-"OK so if we leave in about 20 minutes that's a good time for you to join your classroom."
"Oh Mom". Big alligator tears. After probing, she said she felt crummy. Alright, checked for fever-no, that was OK. She really looked like she didn't feel good- so then I let the teacher know that she was staying home. I was a bit concerned, thinking oh no, she is sick, wonder how I can help her, maybe a little water, rest, soup. Hope our weekend doesn't turn into "sick city."
1/2 hour later I go check on her, and she is sitting writing family names in cursive. Then 10 minutes later she goes bouncing down the hall to grab some paper for another little "project."
Me: "G! You are OK, aren't you?" I said it with a slight smile. "MOM I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL TODAY!"
Ah-she tricked me!!!
Hookey day -- she was thrilled.
Well, after all, everyone needs one once in a while.
But if her teacher reads this post, hm-maybe we're both in trouble...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Missin' in Blizzard

My husband is in Duluth Minnesota at the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, the Mason's. 500 or so people gather from across the state for this annual convention to learn, conduct business, and also there are fun social activities-black tie dinners with entertainment etc.

So he left yesterday. I was a bit concerned, as there was a storm front coming in, and you know how the goofy weather people are -- "Oh anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of snow, more to the north part of the metro 10-12 inches." Then it turns out to be rain wind and no accumulated snow. But lots of people wondering and worrying. And the weather professionals are feeding on this. In our house we call it "weather terrorism."

So there was a front coming, and oh it was stalling no it was coming heading straight for where he was driving. Imagine driving on an isolated highway in the boring flat plains of Minnesota. Yet really not so boring if the wind is at 30mph and there is sleet and the highway is elevated over the farmland around you. That is just treacherous.

So he wasn't sure. I wasn't sure. Radar looked OK. Off he went. He called later to say that he had arrived and there wasn't any precipitation at all. NO PRECIPITATION! Wow the weather guys were really off. Here in Mpls we had strong winds, rain snow and sleet and potentially very very hazardous driving conditions as the evening went on and temperatures lowered to freezing and below. But we were hunkered and fine, didn't need to drive anywhere. (OK actually I arranged rides home for 2 of the girls who had activities so OTHER people were out driving in the terrible weather).

So TODAY I get a message from hubby. There were straightline winds and basically blizzard conditions. I do not know how much snow they got. But they have no power-thankfully the hotel or facility where they are has generator power. Crazy!!

Will this winter ever end??

Friday, April 4, 2008


Gosh haven't posted since Monday.

Things are a bit hectic, with busy work, taxes due soon (I am self-employed so they are a bit complicated), kids home for spring break).

Today it is almost 60 degrees outside. I see MOSTLY no snow. I have TULIPS to uncover. Awesome.

More later.