Sunday, April 24, 2011

Minnesota Book Awards 2011

Last weekend I spent some time with my cousins on my Dad's side of my family, my 'McLellan' cousins. My cousin, Carol Connolly, was the recipient of the 2011 Kay Sexton award for contributions to Minnesota's book community. She was honored at a gala sponsored by the St. Paul Friends of the Library. It was so much fun to be there! The event started with cocktails in the lobby area of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the river in downtown St. Paul. Then we moved into the ballroom for dessert and champaign. All 700 of us! It was a sellout event.
Carol knew that she would receive the award and had her remarks ready. She was introduced by Mayor Coleman and gave a lovely and somewhat humorous speech. But not too long of a speech because last year's recipient went on for 45 minutes after a 30 minute introduction, so Carol had been warned to keep her remarks brief. Actually, Mayor Coleman spoke longer than Carol did.
The Minnesota Book Awards honor authors with Minnesota connections and I believe there were nine categories of awards. The books are nominated during the year and voted on and then the award (which this year was a lovely glass sculpture) is presented at the Gala. It played like the Oscars. Big screens around the room featured the book covers as the nominees were announced. Suspense built, and then an envelope was brought to the podium and the winner announced. A three-piece jazz group provided music. It was a BIG DEAL.
The next day, Carol's daughter Katie had a brunch in honor of her mom. Here are some pictures:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Basket Case

March was the month I made baskets. (I know April is half over, but I just got around to taking some pictures.)
I took a basket weaving class at the Hand Weavers Guild in Lincoln and was pretty happy with the results:

Kitty Meow was checking it out just as I snapped the picture.

Last fall I watched a demonstration of basket making at "Threads Across Nebraska" where the nice lady from Vogies Quilts & Treasures was making a basket using strips of fabric and cotton clothesline.

The book she was using was called It's a Wrap and she was just zipping along making a beautiful basket. I stood and watched and talked to her and was hooked. I made one basket right away when I got home, but I gave it away with some Mary Kay products in the basket silent auction at the Seward Memorial Library in November. I kept thinking about all the baskets I wanted to make and all the scraps and strips of fabric that I have, so when I went to Minglewood Lodge that is what I took with me to work on.
Bread Basket

Easter Basket

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chiropractic Care

One thing I never thought I would do was visit a chiropractor. And, now, here I am with 3 appointments last week! Just 2 for the coming week, though.
It started when grandson Sam was having trouble with his back after a fall from a playground slide. Visiting his GP at the medical clinic did nothing to ease the pain or help him stand up straight, so his parents took him to see Dr. Wild. That helped almost immediately. Then they shifted to Dr. Hackbart because they felt he was more thorough and gave them a plan with an end date. After several appointments for Sam, Liz decided to go. About twice a year her back "goes out" and she thought she would have this checked out. She said that when he adjusted her upper back she realized that she had been uncomfortable for so long she had grown used to it and didn't realize what it was like to feel good.
So, when I saw Dr. Hackbart at the Spring Show I took advantage of a coupon and went in for a consultation. I have not had quite the dramatic results that Liz has experienced but I do feel better. I has a relapse this week after watching our 3 grand daughters for a day, but my back is starting to feel better.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Swedish Triology

I am, of course, referring to the 3 books by Steig Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I finished the third one last week. I will admit that when I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last summer I was not that impressed. The first part of the story did not "grab" me and I found it a bit confusing. Also, this book has a lot of violence towards women and I wondered if I could take any more of that, so I put off reading the 2nd and 3rd books. However, I saw The Girl Who Played with Fire on the "on fire" shelf at Seward Memorial Library last month so I picked it up. The "on fire" shelf is reserved for books that are in constant demand and are therefore only available for 2-week check out, as opposed to the usual 4-week period.
I had a hard time putting down that book! Same with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which I finished last week. I had to make myself accomplish one or two things around the house so I could give myself permission to sit for several hours of reading!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Calamus Camper

Last week Dave bought an old camper that is sitting on a parking spot at Calamus Lodge. Yesterday Dave loaded up the Jeep, including me and our dog Belle, and off we went so I could see it and we could do a little clean up. Dave keeps telling me the camper "has potential" and I can see his point. He will use it pretty often as a home base for fishing trips. I will go along, but probably not every time.
We are novice RV owners and it took us quite a while to get things working. We could not get electricity to the camper until Dennis, owner of Calamus Lodge, came and discovered the contacts were corroded. After he cleaned that up we had power!
Connecting our plumbing so we could have water took much longer. The camper has been re-plumbed and it was a bit confusing. After a few phone calls to the previous owner we could flush and run water in the kitchen sink. The bathroom sink will have to wait for another day because the faucets are not yet connected. We think we burned out the water heater when we turned on the power before the tank had time to fill, so hot water will have to wait for another day as well.
Yard work was also on the agenda and we picked up leaves, twigs and small branches around the camper and got a good blaze going in the fire pit.
The previous owners left a lot of stuff including dishes, silver ware, pots and pans, beach chairs, bedding and a hot plate to name a few. We threw out some stuff and cleaned up the rest.
Another project was to shorten the window blinds. I got a few of them done, but there will be more to finish on the next trip.
Attached to the camper is a screened porch, about 20 x 12 feet. I think that will be used a lot this summer. The camper is old, but there has been a lot of updating to the interior: new kitchen counters, sink and cupboards, new wainscoting and trip and paint, new blinds, new bathroom fixtures, so it is pretty nice inside.