Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hotel life

I love Embassy Suites. Specifically, the one in LaVista. We have had occassion to be in Omaha two weekends in a row, and although we could drive home, both times we decided to stay. The Embassy Suites in LaVista is less than a year old, so everything still looks great and well taken care of. The rooms really are suites, so there is a separate "living room" and bedroom. Two televisions. Refrigerator. Microwave. Kitchen area, with granite counter tops. Cute decor. Comfortable bed. Nice swimming pool and hot tub. Exercise room. Manager's reception every evening with free drinks and snacks. Wonderful breakfast.
We got a nice price by using our AAA card, so it was not really expensive, just a little. We figured that when we can no longer live at home we will get rid of all our stuff, take one suitcase full of clothes and move into a hotel. It would be cheaper than a retirement home.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I missed Christmas . .

this year because I was sick. It came on over the course of a few days: Kind of an "off" feeling on Sunday, nasty cough on Monday, full-blown cold on Tuesday. I spent almost all of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed attempting to recover for Christmas Day. Unfortunately, this did not work. I have not had good experiences with o-t-c cold remedies and tend to avoid them, but I did take a lot of aspirin and an anti-histamine on Tuesday, as well as gargling with hydrogen peroxide to kill all those germs in my throat. On Wednesday I could not see because my eyes were watering so much, and for a time I felt like my eyes would explode, probably from the sinus pressure, although my nose was running so much that I don't know how there possibly could have been any pressure. On Thursday morning I got up and took a bath and got dressed, anticipating that I could pull myself together to get to Liz and Rob's for Christmas dinner and watching the grandchildren open presents. Dave gave me an Advil cold and sinus, which sounded like the right pill to take. I had to lie down because the process of dressing exhausted me. I fell asleep and did not move for 2 hours. Dave came and looked at me several times to make sure I was still breathing. When it came time to go get aunt Marge and Eleanor, I just plain could not do it. I stayed in bed and Dave left, recruiting Dan to help with the little old ladies. (Picking up a 93-year-old and an 88-year-old from a retirement home is not a task for the faint of heart. It takes stamina, determination and patience, and more than one person.) My normal reaction to being left behind on Christmas Day would to feel sorry for myself and probably shed a few tears of self-pity. Didn't happen. I was so relieved that I would not have to pretend to feel OK that I started to feel better. Weird. I got up and watched "The Bucket List" on HBO. Then I went back to bed til Dave got home and filled me in on all the good stuff I had missed. Throughout the evening I talked on the phone to everyone who had been there during the day, and I really did start to feel better. As is often the case, I second guessed my decision to stay home, and it was the right choice.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blogger's Block Broken

It has been nearly two months since I last posted a blog, but the silence has been breached! There is nothing like a good picture to inspire a blog post, and what could be better than a picture of a new born baby?
Natalie Marie Neeley was born on November 1, 2008, at 8:23 p.m. She weighed eight pounds, fourteen ounces, and twenty-one inches long.
More pictures here

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunt Marge


Today (September 11) is my aunt Marge's 93rd birthday. I wish I was a better photographer, but here is a picture I took last Sunday. Sam and Austin are helping her open a few gifts.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 29, 2008

Time to catch up

I have not written anything on the blog for 2 weeks and I have decided it is time to catch up. Here are some things that have happened:

Dave got a dog while I was in Mexico, a clone of Buddy. Not really. He brought home a Brittany Spaniel, female, 3 years old, by the name of Belle. She is pretty wild, as are most Brittany Spaniels, but we are all adjusting. Her life prior to moving to our house consisted of being in a crate or on a tether, but now she can run and run and run, and she does! Someday she will learn how to come when we call, but probably not any time real soon. She has the same coloring as Buddy, but is a lot smaller. Kitty Meow, our resident cat, was very worried at first and would run from Belle. But one day things changed. I could see it happen, actually. Meow looked at Belle, and did not bat an eye, or move a whisker. She growled and hissed and then when Belle reacted by backing off she got down on the floor and challenged Belle, and started chasing her around the house. It is pretty funny. She does not have any front claws so I don't think she can do any damage to Belle.

I have been working a lot of hours. School has started at Concordia, and with the beginning of the year we have a lot of new students getting jobs on campus. I have to set them up in our computerized payroll system, so it is mostly a lot of data entry. I worked 40 hours this week, and I am quite tired. I don't think I am fit for full-time work any more!

Austin had strep throat last week, so Babysitting Plan B was put into service, and Grandpa became the preferred day care option for most of the week. Dave had Monday off, and then Sam broke his arm. Right arm, just above the wrist. A splint was applied at the emergency room, and instructions given about how Sam needed to be very careful until a regular cast could be put on. Grandpa stepped up to the plate again and entertained Sam on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. At 3:00 p.m. today the crucial time arrived when it was decided that the arm was healing OK, and it could be casted (cast?) Hmmm. Anyway, Sam did not have to have it "reset" which would have meant anesthesia and pain, and anxiety for parents and grandparents (thank you Jesus). He got a bright red cast. Go Big Red! and is happy that he can run around and play and won't have to worry about his arm for a while. Three weeks, I guess.

On Tuesday evening I went to a "Premier Jewelry" party at Liz's house. It was fun to try on the jewelry and hear all the tips the consultant had to offer. I found out that I should be wearing 7-12 pieces of jewelry every day. You can count your earrings as two pieces. I have done this for a few days now, and it is kind of fun. I ordered some jewelry at the party, but I have been experimenting with the jewelry that I have now.

On Thursday night Liz's friend Tina had a Mary Kay "Color Insider" party, so I had to brush up on my MK product knowledge and presentation skills. I was not real happy with my "performance" and I think if I am going to resurrect my Mary Kay career I will need to go to some training meetings again.

There's probably a lot more a regular blog poster would write about, but that is all for now for this blogger.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Welcoming committee


Here are Bird's dogs: Puppy (or Poppy) the cocker spaniel at the bottom left; Blanca, to her right; Chewie, above Blanca, and Amiga, at the top. Bird and Smokey found Blanca and Amiga on a beach in Mexico and adopted them a few years ago. Chewie came next. He wandered into their yard as a puppy with a gash running along his spine from one end to the other. He still has a scar all the way down the center of his back. Bird has always wanted a smaller dog, so when Puppy turned up at the Vet clinic where she volunteers she brought her home as a "foster care dog." But she ended up staying. Usually the dogs are not allowed in the new house, but Puppy has found a way to squeeze through the fence, so she will turn up underfoot now and then. Chewie will watch for a while and then find a place where he can maneuver through and Blanco and Amiga will not be far behind. When they all come racing through the house it reminds me of the scene from "A Christmas Story" where the Bumpus Hounds come running through the kitchen and grab the roast turkey!

Monday, August 11, 2008

On top of the world


As you drive Mexico Highway 1 (the Transpenisular Highway) you cross the peninsula back and forth from west to east and east to west a few times. The Sierra Nevada mountain range runs north and south, the length of Baja California and Baja California Sur, so when you drive east to west or west to east you go up, up, up and down, down down, often on a very curvy road. Sometimes, though, you seem to be at the top of the world, and all you can see is more mountain peaks, but you feel like you are at the top and any direction you look is down.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 9, 2008

More "on the road"

 

 

I think almost every Mexican town we drove through had a town square. Here are two examples: first is the square at Tecate, which is the border crossing town where we entered Mexico. It was a busy place and quite pretty.

The second picture was taken quite a way further south in the town of San Iganacio, after we had crossed into the state of Baja California Sur. Again, we are in the town square, and I asked Bird to take my picture by this huge tree. At the opposite end of the square some people had set up a stand to sell plastic baskets--things you might use in your kitchen or laundry room for storage or serving food. It was the middle of the day and some folks were sleeping on the benches, or just hanging around the square and visiting. They may have been tourists, since San Ignacio is home to an old spanish Mission of the same name.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On the road . . in Colorado and Utah

Bird and I drove on I-70 from Denver until it met up with I-15, so we saw a lot of countryside in Colorado and Utah. The scenery in Colorado is beautiful, but sadly you can see hundreds of dead pine trees, a consequence, I suppose, of the pine beetle blight. I wonder what will happen as those trees begin to fall and become kindling. I can imagine there will be huge forest fires in the years to come.

We had 12 dead and dying pine trees removed from our yard yesterday. It only took a few hours to cut them down and remove them, and now we have large empty spaces in our yard. Fortunately, you cannot see our house from the road because we have cedar trees remaining as our wind break. If you have watched Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth you may remember that he mentioned the pine beetle and blight and how we are going to lose millions of pine trees as the pine beetle moves into areas where previously they would die out in the winter. I would agree that it is pretty inconvenient.

The landscape changed as we got into Utah and here a few pictures taken as we drove by at 75 miles per hour. I definitely want to spend some more time in
Utah and see some more of these beautiful rock formations.


Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Mexico trip stuff

Ben's is a little restaurant in Green River, Utah, and it serves really good Mexican food, cooked by a nice Mexican cook. Bird and I stopped here to eat on July 21, the first day of our five-day drive to La Ribera. We were tired and hungry and the towns were few and far between, so when we saw it we decided to stop. As we were getting out of Bird's car an older couple came out of the restaurant and the gentleman said, "You will not be sorry you stopped to eat here. It is really good." And he was right.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Roadside Memorial

A common sight as you travel on Mexico Highway 1 is the Roadside Memorial. This picture was taken between La Ribera and Santa Cruz, Baja California Sur and is a pretty good example. Most are quite a bit smaller, but some are even larger than this one. They may commemorate a person who has died at this spot, or it may be a shrine to honor a saint. We saw hundreds of them as we drove the transpenisular highway.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Still on the road

We made it well past Las Vegas--we are staying in El Cajon, CA tonight, at the Relax Inn Motel. Not recommended, but not too expensive either. We had a long day of driving broken up by a stop in Las Vegas. We stopped for lunch at the Silverton, where Dave and I stayed in March. Played the penny slots, but didn't win. Enjoyed seeing the huge aquarium again, and then back on the road. There was a lot of beautiful scenery again, and lots of mountain driving, mostly down hill. We are close to Tecate, which is where we will cross into Mexico. I guess we will have about 1,000 miles more to drive.

Monday, July 21, 2008

On the Road

I met Roberta at the Denver Airport, just as planned, and off we headed on I-70 going West. It was a long day of driving, but the scenery was gorgeous. We ate at a nice Mexican restaurant in Green River, Utah, and kept on driving to Salina, Utah, where we are staying the night at a Super 8 Motel. Nothing fancy, but nice and roomy. There is a swimming pool, but I am beat and going to be in bed in about 5 minutes! I think we will make it past Las Vegas tomorrow.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bird and Jo's Excellent Adventure

My cousin Roberta and I are leaving on Monday, July 21, for her home in Mexico! I am so excited to be going on this trip. I am flying to Denver, she will pick me up at the airport in her new car ('96 Subaru) and off we will go. I don't know our route, but I do know it will take several days of driving to get there.

More to come . . .

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reunion 2008

My family reunion (Remer kids plus me) took place last week at Angostura Reservoir near Hot Springs, SD. It was lots of fun and here are the pictures:

Sam turns 5

Sammy had a pirate themed birthday party earlier this month.
Posted by Picasa


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bubble Bath


This picture was taken a few weeks ago when Sam and Austin were visiting. Both of them like to take a bath in our whirlpool tub, but it has been quite a long time since they have gotten the chance to do it. Dave has been redecorating the master bedroom and bathroom in our house the past month or so. He installed ceramic tile (maybe that classifies as a remodel???) and painted the bathroom. The boys were at our house and it sounded like a fun thing to do. Both remembered that they used to take a lot of baths in the tub. I got a little carried away with the bubbles!

Austin turns 3

We celebrated Austin's third birthday in June with a "Thomas the Tank Engine" party engineered (sorry, couldn't help myself) by Rob. All of us wore party hats and had party favors and there was a Thomas cake. Austin can name all of the engines who are friends of Thomas and sing all the songs from the videos. He also owns a lot of Thomas-related toys and books.
Posted by Picasa

T-Ball

I spent most Tuesday and Thursday evenings in June at Plum Creek Park watching Sam and his team learn and play T-ball. This picture shows Rob helping Sam get ready to bat. I think Rob must have done this particular routine about 1,000 times in June because as a coach he would get each kid ready to bat. Sometimes the batter would be successful on the first attempt, but usually Rob would have to retrieve the ball, set up the batting tee, and line up the batter. By the end of the season a lot of kids could hit a ball past the pitcher and one little guy could hit it out of the infield. Their defensive play improved a lot also as they moved from every player on the field converging on the ball after it was hit, to one person fielding the ball and throwing it to first. Teams don't keep score, three innings are played, everyone bats in every inning, and most teams have as many parents in the field as 5-year-olds.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

WWKIP and M2

Did you know Saturday was World Wide Knit In Public Day? Well, it was, and I celebrated by sitting on a bench in downtown Seward and knitting with my friend Dodie. We are attempting to get a knitting group started in town. I have enjoyed the Lincoln knitting group so much, but find it very difficult to get to any meetings anymore. I have been thinking about starting a knitting group here, and one day when I was grocery shopping at SunMart and wearing my Lincoln Knitters T-shirt I met Dodie. She was running the cash register at the grocery store, saw my T-shirt and asked me about it. Turns out she is a knitter and was also looking for a group, so we have started one. So far, it is just the two of us, but we will recruit!

Saturday evening was also the 3D Praise event sponsored by Bread of Life Ministries, and M2 (Manna Ministries). It was held at the Seward Bandshell and turned out fine. There were lots of activities for kids, and grown-ups as well, and Pastor Dan gave a great message about our 3 Dimensional God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The band rocked and the singers were great. We will have another outreach event on July 4.

Dave and I have been attending M2 for about 6 weeks or so, and I think it is where we are going to end up worshipping.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Maggie's Dance Recital


On Sunday, June 1, Grampy Dave and I went to Maggie's dance recital in Omaha. It was a hoot! Six little dancers, ages three and four, participated. It was held at their dance studio and attended by their adoring families, who pretty much filled the room. At age 4 1/2 Maggie was one of the older dancers. The recital lasted about 20 minutes and the girls got to show off their stuff.
After the recital we went to Dan and Jill's and continued Dave's birthday celebration by grilling out and spending the afternoon with the Jacksons and the Omaha Neeley family. Good times.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Grandpa Dave's birthday












May 31 was Grandpa's birthday; now he has caught up to me in age once again. We are 59 years old. I can hardly believe it!
I bought Dave some new books and a puzzle to share with Sam, Austin, Maggie and Shelby. It is an alphabet puzzle and we have had some fun with it. I also bought him some picture books of wolves and backyard wildlife. Liz got him socks, and Dan and Jill got him a gift certificate. Marge gave him a check and so did his Mom. He did a very nice thing with the money he received from Eleanor: he gave it away to a girl who is going on a mission trip to South America. She will use the money to make health kits to distribute while she is there. Cost Rica, I think.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Primary


I worked on the election board back a few weeks ago for the Nebraska Primary Election on May 13. My precinct is Bee, Nebraska, and this was my first experience as an election judge. I know, election judge sounds impressive! I arrived promptly at 7:00 a.m. and met the other four election board workers. Three were veterans of many elections and one other one was new, but his wife had done it for many years. We set everything up and got ready to open the polls at 8:00 a.m.

I voted right away because I wanted to try out the 'Automark' machine so I would be sure to know how to run it if we had a request to use it. Pretty easy to use, but it took longer than if I would have marked the ballot by hand. This primary election had very little to vote on, especially for me, a Democrat. True, I did vote for Hillary Clinton, although that will not really count for anything since our state held a caucus in February and selected the convention delegates at that time. There was one amendment to consider and the democratic candidates for Senate. That was it. If you happened to be registered as non-partisan, then you only received the ballot for the amendment. You have to ask for the Democrat or Republican non-partisan ballot if you want one.

Well, the five of us sat there until 8:00 p.m. That is 13 hours. Oh my. We had 64 out of a possible 265 people show up to vote. I am pretty sure that was repeated across Seward County; less than 25% of the people eligible to vote showed up to do it. I think there should be a better, less expensive way to do this. The five of us made minimum wage ($5.85 per hour) for 13 hours. Repeat that across the county about 10 times and that adds up. Couldn't we vote by mail or on-line?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Licorice


Licorice has never really been my favorite candy, but a few weeks ago we checked out this store in Lincoln: Licorice International

It was great! I don't think I have ever had really good licorice before, and this is REALLY GOOD licorice. We were walking around the Haymarket in Lincoln with our Minnesota friends, Jeff and Sue. Licorice International is at 803 Q Street, next to the 'From Nebraska' gift shop. You can buy any kind of licorice you could imagine. And, you can sample it first to make sure it really is something you would like to try. I am looking forward to a return trip!

Monday, May 19, 2008

It has been a month

I have started any number of interesting posts in my head, but they never get to the point of being typed. Maybe they wouldn't have been that interesting.
We have been kind of busy the past several weeks. Marge moved to Heartland Park Retirement community for a trial run at the end of April and decided to stay. We have been moving her things ever since. We have a small jeep and the two of us which is one reason it is taking a while. Another reason is that I don't want to just move everything into her small apartment all at one time and overwhelm her, so I wait until she asks for something that we have not yet moved. Seems to be working. The only draw back is that Dave and I are still sleeping in the basement bedroom instead of the master bedroom.
Some fun stuff: the first weekend in May was the Lincoln Marathon and our friends from Minnesota, the Johnsons, came to visit so that Jeff could run in the half marathon. He completed the run, a little slower than his goal, but pretty close.
Dave's sisters came to visit over Mother's Day. We had 15 people out here for dinner (four were kids) and it was a good time.
Son Mark and his friend Alan just left this morning after spending the last week here. We got to do lots of fun stuff with them including going to a Saltdogs baseball game and seeing the movie Prince Caspian.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The end of the recall

We tried, but it was an uphill battle. The petition drive in Seward County to recall the county sheriff and county attorney ended this past week. Read the Lincoln Journal Star story here.

When my son-in-law started this effort it sounded like it might be pretty easy to get the approximately 1700 signatures needed. About 50 people volunteered to take petitions around to their friends and neighbors and we didn't hear many negative comments. But, when it came down to getting people to sign on the dotted line it was another story. Some people were afraid to sign their names because they thought there might be some negative consequences such as harassment from the county deputies or county attorney's office. I think if you are afraid of your county officials there is a pretty big problem and you should sign a petition to place a recall initiative on the ballot. Other people thought it was too early--let the process work. I think there is no new evidence and the case will not be overturned. And, let's face it, I think most people were apathetic and did not want to get involved.

It turns out that it doesn't matter what I think.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Time for a blog entry

Yes, we did come home from our spring break vacation--two weeks ago, as a matter of fact. It was so nice to be in a warm climate with no real agenda or schedule. It was more than nice, it was fantastic. Dave may not agree since he was sick over half the time we were gone. I waited until we got home to get sick, much better to do it that way I think.

We stayed at the Four Queens in downtown Las Vegas and experienced the "Fremont Street Experience" the first night of our trip. The next day we drove our rental car to Phoenix, sightseeing along the way: Hoover Dam, Jerome, Payson and on to Mesa. It took longer than driving I-40 to I-17, but it was a nice drive.

We spent four days with Mark, his friend Alan, and the 3 dogs. One of the days was Easter Sunday and we worshiped at Christ Church Lutheran, where Mark is a member. Mark is not a contemporary worship kind of guy, but he accompanied his aged hippy parents to the Praise Service. They have a great praise band and choir at that church--the place was rockin'. Mark prefers a Bach Prelude to Shine, Jesus, Shine, but we all got along OK.

Dave and I visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix--been there before, but it is a great place to see again. Lots of cacti were blooming and it was a beautiful day.

The time went by quickly as it does on a vacation and soon we were on our way back to Las Vegas. We drove I-10 to Parker and then north through Quartzite. What a strange place! Then on through Lake Havasu City--I would like to go back and spend some time there. When we got back to Las Vegas we stayed at the Silverton for two nights, and did some sightseeing on the Las Vegas strip.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Spring Break

It is time for Spring Break! Dave gives a final on Tuesday, we take Marge to respite care on Wednesday, and Thursday we are flying to Las Vegas. We have never stayed there before, so we are staying one night before driving a rental car to Phoenix where we will spend Easter with Mark and his friend, Alan. They don't have much time off, but we will see them over Easter weekend. We haven't planned much past then, and we don't fly back until Thursday (from Las Vegas), but there is a lot to see and do in Arizona.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

In the news

This is what has kept our minds occupied for the last several days:
Lincoln Journal Star story
Earlier news story

Our son-in-law, Rob, was outraged last week when the Judge's decision came out regarding the death of an 11-month-old little girl. He talked to people he saw around town for a few days and realized that many more people were outraged as well, so he decided to do something about it.

The news articles summarize fairly well what has happened so far. There is quite a lot of work ahead for Rob and about 50 people who signed up to help with the recall petition.

Friday, March 7, 2008

How fast are you?

I found this on the website of someone I tagged a few days ago. Try it!
75 words

Speedtest

Some deer friends

It was just about dusk and I noticed our cat, Kitty Meow, concentrating intently on something outside. She was standing/sitting on her back feet and looking out the patio door. I got down on the floor next to her to see if I could figure out what she was looking at, but did not really notice anything. Marge looked out and she did notice something moving in the tall grass near the tree line. I was surprised to see a doe and an almost grown fawn browsing through the grass fairly close to the mowed part of our yard. We watched them for about 15 minutes and the fawn actually came down into the yard pretty close to the deck. Both were very cautious, slowly walking a few steps, stopping to eat a little grass, then both heads would suddenly be up, with ears perked and noses sniffing. Then they would relax for a minute and repeat the whole process. I watched the fawn nibble on my new lilac bushes, but I know it is not the first time because I checked them earlier in the week--not much left. The rabbits are also eating them. I'll be surprised if we have any when/if spring ever arrives. By the time it was almost dark the deer were heading south, having jumped the barbed wire fence, and were walking along the tree line.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My numbers

Diet and exercise really do make a difference. A year ago I had my cholesterol checked on the Memorial Health Care Systems Health Fair. It was 313, which is quite high when you look at the recommendations. I visited with my doctor about this and she suggested I take fish oil capsules. So, I bought a huge bottle of them at Sam's Club and I would take one if I remember to do it. Meanwhile, I started working at Concordia and there was a health fair on campus in October. By that time I was a little better at taking the fish oil capsules because I had spoken to a woman about my age who told me that they had made a real difference, and that it helps if you keep them in the refrigerator. You can avoid the yucky aftertaste that way. In October my total cholesterol level had dropped to 271, an improvement, but still way over 200. Under 200 is good. Yesterday the student health service on campus had "Health Decision 2008" with about 50 booths and displays. For $10 bucks I had my blood checked again and my number is now at 227. I have lost 15 pounds since October and am exercising more, which also helps. My LDL is down and my HDL is up (this is good). And my blood glucose is good.
So, I am feeling pretty good about my numbers!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

blog tag

I was tagged by Julie to write 10 weird things about myself and then select five other bloggers to tag.

I will try:

1. I am thinking of going blond.
2. I think about all kinds of things about which to blog, but then I don't do it right away and after a while those ideas aren't so fresh, or I have forgotten them.
3. It is my birthday on Feb. 28 and I will be 59 years old.
4. I don't feel 59 years old.
5. My new favorite author is Anne Lamotte--I am reading Traveling Mercies
6. Reading books by Anne Lamotte will help me become more spiritual in a not-so-spiritual way (you have to read one her books on the topic to see what I mean)
7. One of my favorite places to spend time is the Seward Memorial Library
8. Also in my quest to become more spiritual I am reading the Holy Bible. I am on the 2-year program, but it will take me 3 to 4 years since I don't read every day. I have made it to Deuteronomy (the 2nd telling of the law).
9. I gave up going to church for Lent. Not really, but it hasn't worked for me to get there for a while.
10. I have never attended public school, only parochial schools--very parochial--LCMS schools.

Well, I got that part done. The next thing would be to tag five bloggers--most of the bloggers I know personally are knitters who have just finished doing this because they were tagged by Julie. Hmmmm

Well here goes
Royal Empress
Sandy Knits
Nutty Knitter
Karen
Mark

I hope it is not bad etiquette to tag total strangers!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pictures from Shelby's birthday party

A few pictures from Shelby's birthday party. She is now a two-year-old!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Brrr!


It has been a long winter. I know it is mid-February and I should expect it to be cold, but we have had snow on the ground since early in December, and that is kind of unusual. Last Saturday morning Sam and I made a snowman and named him Frosty. It was warm enough that we stayed outside for a good long time enjoying some sledding and fun in the snow. Austin joined us, but the snowman was done by then. Frosty melted a little bit on Wednesday and then blew over on Thursday when we had 40 mph winds from the North. Poor guy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Real Deal

Dave and I attended the first ever Seward County Democratic Caucus at the Seward Civic Center this afternoon. It was a great experience. There were 267 people there, many registering to vote. The crowd was quite a bit larger than expected, although I guess there was really no way to know how many to expect. Everything went along smoothly, even with the O-Bam-A and Hil-la-ry chants that made their way across the crowds periodically.
I am so very proud of Dave! He volunteered (after being pushed a bit) to make a speech in support of Hillary and I have to say it was the best one, and I am not the only one who thought it was best. I wish we could have had it tape recorded, but I didn't think to bring my camera. My new camera has a voice recorder, but I don't know how it works yet, so I probably would not have captured his speech anyway.
Preliminary results are indicating Obama by a large margin. I don't have the Seward County numbers yet, but I think it was closer here. Either candidate will have my full support!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Raucus Caucus

Saturday afternoon will find Dave and me at the first ever Democratic caucus in the state of Nebraska. Two weeks ago we went to the practice event so we would know what would happen. It will be interesting. There are 3,250 registered Democrats in Seward County. Usually when the county group gets together five or six people show up for a meeting. I have never attended one. At the practice caucus there were 22 people in the room. A nice young man, Eric Van Horn, was there from the state organization to show us the ropes. We did it using JFK, Thomas Jefferson, Bill Clinton and FDR as our candidates. The group divided up into four areas of the room, one for each candidate, and one group of undecided voters, just like what will happen tomorrow, except that we have lost one candidate and will only have Clinton and Obama supporters. A group has to have 15% of the total number of participants to remain viable. A spokesperson is chosen from each group and gives a speech trying to encourage people from other groups to "jump ship." Time is alloted for realignment and people can change their minds and move to a different group. After that I get a little fuzzy on the details, so it is a good thing I am not in charge. I think what happens is that each group with at least 15% of the total is viable and the number of delegates if figured from there. It is NOT winner take all. Seward County only has one location for its caucus, the Seward Civic Center and it will be interesting to see how many folks show up.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Virtual travel map

Get Your Own MapView Larger Map

I am trying out this virtual travel map. Not quite sure of all the possibilities yet, but I guess I got it posted to my blog.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The grand total

Well, it is NOT so grand, but it is OK.
I started WeightWatchers with a weigh-in on October 22, 2007. Here are the ups and downs that followed:
Oct. 29 -3.2
Nov. 5 +.6
Nov. 12 -2.2
Nov. 19 -.6
Nov. 26 -1.4
Dec. 3 -.4
Dec. 17 -4.0
Jan. 7 +1.4
Jan. 14 -2.2
Jan. 21 -.4
Jan. 28 +.6

Total weight lost = 11.8 pounds.

I have 4.2 pounds to go to meet my goal, so I am signing up for the next WeightWatchers at Work session. It is really convenient since we meet on campus. I doubt if I would go otherwise.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Favorite YouTube

If I knew what I was doing I would be able to embed this favorite YouTube video, but I have not figured it out so you will have to click on this to see the Evolution of Dance. I can't even take credit for finding it myself--I saw it on Julie's blog. I met Julie at a knitting group in Lincoln. I don't get to see her very often, but I read her blog several times each week.

Another blog I read a lot belongs to Christy. She also is a Lincoln knitter. A recent blog featured this from YouTube, human tetris. Pretty funny.

Both these gals are very creative and they both have young children. I love to read what they are doing with their kids and I get great ideas of things to do, books, movies, crafts, as well as knitting and sewing ideas.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Exercise

I was not going to exercise today. After all, I gave blood this morning and I was told I should "take it easy" and drink a lot of water--four eight-ounce glasses, I think. But at 4:30 this afternoon I just felt like moving. I think exercise may becoming a habit for me! That would be good. Adding movement to my day, one of the healthy lifestyle tips from Weight Watchers, was a New Year's resolution. What a surprise! I wonder if ever there was a year when that was not one of my resolutions.

I have two options if I want to get an aerobic workout. One is the stationary bike in our basement and the other is to walk. I thought I would walk while I was at work, you know, during my coffee break, or before I go home. But it is so blasted cold outside, and for a while there was just too much ice everywhere, so I have not done that. I am looking forward to some warmer weather and the chance to do that. So, my solution is to set up a walking course in my house. It takes 3 to 4 minutes for me to walk through half the rooms in the basement, up the stairs, through the living room and kitchen, down the stairs, through the other half of the basement, up the stairs, through the living room and kitchen, down the stairs and back through the first half of my route in the basement. Repeat about 9 or 10 times and I have a 30 minute walk. The stairs help raise my pulse, so I actually get a pretty good workout.

Weight Watchers has been a good choice for me. Our last "Weight Watchers at Work" meeting is next Monday. I will reveal my official weight loss!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Birthday


My daughter celebrated her 30th birthday last week. We had a family party at our house which was attended by the birthday girl, her two sons, her parents, her grandmother and her great-aunt. Unfortunately her husband had the flu and was at home, close to the bathroom.

While we were waiting for Liz to get home from work we picked up Sam and Austin from daycare. We were getting things ready for supper and Sam thought it would be a good idea to have party hats. Grandpa complied and made several really great ones out of paper. We took turns wearing them, but Liz wore hers all evening.

Liz picked a coconut cake for her birthday cake. My daughter-in-law made it for Christmas and it was delicious. We had just gotten the recipe from her (thanks, Jill) so I offered to make it. Mine didn't look as good as Jill's but it tasted great.

Here is the recipe for the cake. Jill's recipe used 2 white cake mixes instead of making the cake from scratch. Otherwise I think it was pretty much the same.

On Saturday night the fun continued with a party at the Gallery Nightclub in Seward. This is a pretty cool place that opened last Spring. I guess there were about 45-50 people there and it was a lot of fun. Liz's best friend, Bev, drove in from Denver, so that helped make it special. Most people complied with the invitation's request to wear a crazy hat. Liz and Bev borrowed Sammy's pirate hats. . . argh.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Sweater


Here is the most recent knitting project I have finished, yesterday, as a matter of fact. Sammy loves Santa Claus and I did try to have the sweater done before Christmas but I couldn't get it done. I don't know if he will ever wear it. He was happy to see the sweater but pronounced it "itchy" when his mom tried to get it on him. That is OK. I think he will just like having it even if he doesn't wear it. I don't know that I would wear it either. I followed the pattern suggestions and got Red Heart yarn, and that stuff is itchy!