29 December, 2009

it's official

the last of my textbooks arrived today! classes begin january 11 with a spot reserved for me in macroeconomics, intro to ethics, english comp, and library foundations.

i'll admit to a few butterflies.....

marking time

we're planning to head east thursday for a delayed christmas. in discussing our schedules for the week tim mentioned that he will be fixing/serving a meal for work wednesday night keeping him there late (8?9?) so he wasn't interested in leaving at 7:00 thursday morning. 7:00!?(yikes!) 8 sounded early to me.......

i'm still asking questions:

who else is cleaning/organizing/shifting things around to make room where there had been none??

my kitchen counters have been cleared.

all of this (well not the turntable-that's new, but once again i didn't think of 'before and after' til i was midway through the project)

came from here

aahhh - order.

i have tackled other cupboards and closets over the past few days, shifted some furniture, took a load to the goodwill, baked muffins - i'm quite pleased with myself actually.

we're looking forward to relaxing with family for a short couple days. i'm guessing there will be another round of shifting things when we get home.

27 December, 2009

a few questions

for a dreary sunday.

why does it happen that a particular mood rarely strikes both of us at the same time?? exercise?? clean/organize?? travel?? (fill in the mood of your choice)??

why is christmas decorating always so much more fun than un-decorating??

would i have more readers if i invented a 'cute' name for tim for use on my blog??
(it seems a fairly common practice elsewhere in blogworld)

do people still make new year's resolutions?? what should mine be?? what would yours' be??

24 December, 2009

merry christmas

tim plans to be home this evening.
the packages are wrapped, trees atwinkle. carols inside, howling winds without - the day is mine to use or waste as i see fit.

i hope you're warm and safe enjoying family, friends, comfort & joy this christmas.
merry, merry christmas!!

23 December, 2009

i had hoped

to sign off today with christmas greetings, pack my bags and head out to visit family in central iowa.

this map has changed all that.....
tim did pack his bag, but headed west, to work, (confusing charlie who'd been told he'd be going to see grandma and what else does the suitcase mean but road trip!?) where he will be probably til friday....

there have been a flurry of phone calls - should we?? can we?? will you?? our plans have been postponed. we'll make the trip next weekend. christmas will come and go this year via phone calls. once, long ago, we opted to think we could beat the weather and spent christmas eve in a motel in hutchinson, mn. as much as we look forward to gathering with family, these days we just don't risk being on the road in bad weather.

i have plans to clean a couple closets, catch up on some reading, nap. it will be the perfect time to do the paperwork for a couple garden club awards. i hope you'll all be warm and dry for the next few days.....

16 December, 2009


even though we all know traditions exist all through the year it seems that christmas brings them to the forefront. whether it is family gatherings, baking, mailing cards, whatever, we are too easily reduced to nostalgic marshmallows this time of year.

we will miss jacob and kate at our christmases this year.
with new jobs and time constraints they will stay in connecticut. while we want them to know they will be missed we also want them to know we're glad they won't be on the road dealing with weather and bad drivers. we further want them to know that we understand. there is no guilt/pressure being applied. catch your breath. relax. enjoy the opportunity to create some traditions of your own. we love you and look forward to the next time we can spend with you.

baking is an integral part of my seasonal traditions. you can see the official lefse process here.

here is a small glimpse of the spritz session. this had been my mother's press - you can see the bent handles

a treat from childhood, i'd always hoped to be the one to inherit the iron from our great aunt who brought a few of these on a plate of assorted goodies each year. imagine my dissapointment when i learned the krumkake iron belonged to her friend and we only got our few because they would mix and match batches.....
i finally bought my own.

kringla: no equipment - truly made by hand.

plates will be assembled and dispersed this weekend. with expectations high for family favorites at my mother's the rest will make their way to iowa.

tim and i made our traditional shopping run last saturday. i did most of my shopping online this year (which is pretty slick) but i do look forward to making a day of it with tim.

the jordisons will be breaking with tradition by moving the event to leslie's house which will allow some elbow room. each year we have such a turn-out. with maybe 1 or 2 exceptions everyone is there (usually around 25 of us)- a rare feat in any family. siblings, spouses, grandkids, greatgrandkids and an extra or 2 - crowded, loud fun. tim says we can take charlie along.
i'm not worried about space for him while there - what i can't process is where we will put him in the car!! suitcases, packages, food and one very large dog in my pt cruiser.....tim just keeps saying it will all work out.

i've squeezed some extra activities into my seasonal traditions this year. this morning i ordered textbooks. that was one 'submit order' button that made me grit my teeth! i'll be taking classes beginning january 11, starting with 12 credits for the first semester.

i hope your traditions are keeping you busy in a happy way!!

13 December, 2009

i said i wouldn't

but when it came down to it i couldn't resist. the week after thanksgiving is always short and busy. this year was not only 'not the exception' it was worse than usual. that's why i opted out of the gingerbread display at the library. just too busy. too, too busy.
until the first couple houses arrived that wednesday night.....
the entry information says it can be made of any material, i was working, it was a slow night, so i got busy. i dug through the pile of boxes, browsed a couple of affordable house plans books for designs and started to measure and cut. by the time i got home i had the house in mind and the pieces cut - ready to assemble and decorate. it would have to be finished with materials i had on hand at home - no special shopping due to time constraints. i figure i put in about 10 hours between appointments and work schedules. on my way out of town at 9:00 friday morning i delivered this to the library.

i look forward to this each year and while it pains me to admit i didn't bake my gingerbread this time it was a fun challenge to see what i could do.

here are a few other entries:

click to enlarge and get a good look at at the blue convertible belonging to thelma and louise.

did i mention the pony express riders came to the library saturday morning to take our deposited christmas cards for delivery?? gothenburg bills itself as the pony express capitol so the local group is working with the postal service to arrange for a special cancellation privilege. quite a tedious process as you can imagine. they've had the saddle and an official, authentic mochila (where are the pictures!?)on display in our lobby along with a special box to deposit your stamped, addressed christmas cards. things aren't finalized but they received permission to ride the mail down the road to the next station. check your cards for their special stamp and save me an envelope because i meant to send one home so i could see it.....

09 December, 2009

merry christmas

to the intrepid women of the gothenburg garden club
the phone calls started around 8:00 tuesday morning - should we?? shouldn't we?? our christmas party was on the calendar for noon yesterday. even though the rest of the state was shut down these ladies didn't want to miss their salad luncheon, or navigate the process of rescheduling - a tough prospect these days. at one point it was called off and charlie and i settled in (still in my jammies)to relax - snow day!!
we met. a 1/2 hour earlier than scheduled. i got the call(still in my jammies) about 10:30 (?) and realized i had 1 hour to shovel enough snow to leave my driveway, shower, dress and make a salad!! Nancy called with an offer for a ride, the salad was assembled, some snow was moved and i donned my party finery. everything was delicious. there was more than enough food and plenty of laughter as we sat watching the snow pile up outside arlene's window.
we had around 7 inches of powdery, fine snow. i made a dent in my christmas cards, did some cleaning, admittedly wasted a significant amount of time. i'll be shoveling when i finish here but it doesn't look too bad. the wind overnight left me a couple short drifts and a couple bare spots!!

07 December, 2009

it's beginning to look a lot.....

we had snow again last night...-2 when tim left for work around 7:30 this morning. if this predicted storm happens as scheduled he'll overnight in north platte.
i did my christmas decorating this weekend and have cookies on the agenda for tonight. we'll see what the day brings. this morning i'm getting a box ready to send to jacob and kate. they won't be able to join us for christmas this year and will be sorely missed. i also wrapped my first packages for under the tree. (3)(packages, not trees)if nothing else it helped solidify the whatelsedoineedtoget refrain that has been running through my head....
decorating seems to diminish each year - not because i don't enjoy setting everything out but becaue i hate putting everything away when it's over- there are some favorite 'must haves' that will continue to find their way out of the storage tubs.
the old fireplace came with the house and i have so much fun hanging it with stockings.

this is something new i'm trying for this year. i love sparkly things and the combination of glass and 'crystals' reflect the lights and add a pretty glow to my kitchen.

so it's officially under way at my house. i should have carols playing while i bake tonight, a few last touches for decorating, a list to revise and cards to get started. our local pony express group will be riding with cards in a traditional saddle bag to get them stamped with a pony express delivery mark if cards are ready for collection by the 11th!! (poorly worded but watch to see what your envelope looks like!!)

01 December, 2009


tim, charlie and i made the trip to the cities for thanksgiving with james, naphtali and aidan. thursday is traditionally spent on the road, we have our official meal on saturday and make the return trip on monday. aidan loves to play games so that occupied a big chunk of our time.the following pictures chronicle another one of our activities. do you recognize it??

both james and i grew up eating lefse. we are both partial to a particular stlye. the kahls are supplied by a man who makes it paper thin. my preference is a bit more robust, a bit more primitive. but i can say i've made it with my own 2 hands.

naphtali, marrying into an official lefse family, has the official lefse equipment. a griddle, stick, grooved rolling pin with cover and covered rolling board. who knew?!

it did make the job go faster. i was impressed with the results.

we made 2 batches - the first was an experiment that won't be repeated.

this kind of kitchen work is less work when shared. i would be willing to call it fun. depends on who is sharing your kitchen.....

mmmm a little butter and sugar......

25 November, 2009

wrapping up

it's time, and past, for me to finish with the east coast.
with both jacob and kate at work tim and i occupied ourselves with a drive along the coast, stopping to watch a fishing boat unload, hit the beach and lunch at voodoo grill in mystic.

this is the lighthouse museum in stonington.

we were able to walk along a public area, watching a boat dock and unload while several local purveyors were on hand to take the fresh catch away to their kitchens. we've seen several memorial sites in our travels. family names are often, sadly, repeated on these plaques.

romance aside, we do enjoy taking long walks along the beach. we clambored atop a rock pile, dodging the tide, trying to keep our feet dry. we laughed, picked up rocks, relished the sounds. a good day.
i was surprised by all the outside work being done. no pictures...
in addition to the fishing, we saw men shingling, painting, doing general construction. yard work. lots of leaves being moved and i should have taken a picture of the equipment - a large (waist high and wider than the guy pushing it)fan on wheels, a small pickup fitted with a tall wooden box and a hose unit that came over the top to the front bumper - think vaccuum cleaner on steroids!!

our flight to newark the next day was low and slow giving us plenty of time to ogle the estates of the rich and famous because we were on a prop jet. we swung north in a slow arc before making our way back south to jersey. i was surprised by the mountainous (yes, mountainous) terrain studded by open grounds surrounding mansions, compounds really. turrets, winding drives, tennis courts, it was all there. the pools ranged from simple rectangles to the more popular amoeba.

taking off from providence, the above-ground pool preference seems to be round (rather than oval). on my first trip, helping kate drive out to join jacob, i flew out of providence and at that time was amazed by the number of backyard pools i saw during takeoff. it hasn't changed.

i also saw a woman washing her windows, an ambulance with lights flashing waiting in someone's driveway and maymanymany people raking leaves.

do other people enjoy takeoff and descents as much as i do??

can you tell i had a great time??

22 November, 2009

still vacationing

we had the pleasure of kate's company on monday as jacob was at work. we joined him for lunch in the charming village of deep river. the feast delivered just that! homemade breads and pastas, local veggies, eggs and poultry were served up with what food channel enthusiasts would recognize as respect for the ingredients. yummy doesn't do it justice.
we also had a chance to see where kate works as we wound through the back roads around westbrook and clinton. it is such a picturesque driving experience. i love to wind through these areas. the houses and stone fences capture what most of us perceive to be the essence of quaint new england. then you come across names like misquamicut, pequot, nehantic, uncas and pawcatuck scattered in amongst upper mills, saybrook and ingham hill reminding you that connecticut wasn't always the yuppy bastion it is today.
we then spent some time wandering around the grounds of the castle built by william gillette an eccentric actor credited with creating the iconic image of sherlock holmes with his pipe, cape and deerstalker hat. the extensive grounds included a train, several bridges and outbuildings and trails that have been added for the convenience of tourists.
the castle perched atop bluffs over looking the connecticut river. we agreed that it would be a delight to wake to that vista each morning.

tim found a spot by the pond for a quick nap. although overcast that day,the weather was perfect for walking. we finished the day with a quick run through the grocery store and a pot of mussels, a salad and warm bread with shrimp and pasta for supper. mmmmm

19 November, 2009

day's end in boston

we finished our walking tour and took a ferry across boston harbor. you can see old north church sandwiched in amidst the skyscrapers. looking across at it, who doesn't hear the thud of hoofbeats and the vigilant promise of 'and i on the opposite shore shall be'?? my hat is off to the city planners who have kept that view open for the rest of us.
i do wish i had taken pictures of the marvelous windows along pub street. easily 5 foot high, they opened along tracks at table height, like a bifold closet door, across the front of many pubs and restaurants. it seems a shame that you can't get pictures of everything
i'll apologize for the poor quality of this shot of a lovely, green park complete with fountain and loggia covered walk that was - you'll never guess - our parking garage!! (i took several when i realized how dark they were going to be, hoping that one would be useable. the sun was still shining but at street level it was already 'dusk'.)(do the best you can.) our parking ramp's park covered a small city block and reached 6 levels underground.
the boston folly - i mean tunnel - has often been in the news but i didn't realize how much underground construction is done in that city. again, kudos to the planners and engineers who have found a way to preserve this heritage-rich city.

16 November, 2009

more of boston

we saw our fair share of cemeteries - this one included benjamin franklin's parents, john hancock, paul revere and 'mother' goose. stones were found piled on top of several markers replicating the idea of stone cairns. the artistry of the old markers is breath taking but i admit i have a limit to how many i want to visit
this statue marks the entrance to a 'green' which abuts old north church.

it's spire is visible behind the outstretched hand but didn't photograph well..

our tour route took us to paul revere's home,(his workshop was in another location) (this was their courtyard garden) wound through pub street, little italy, (several blocks of aromatic restaurants), faneuil hall/market where we lunched in a basement sea food dive. delish!
this is the organ from old north church. we enjoyed seeing the family boxes which in their time were available for a price. several were quite well padded. our family's practice has always been to come early and take the last row - a privilege we may have had to pay dearly for to outbid the latecommers.
i appreciated the graceful blend of history and contemporary life evidenced by this bridge. of course, the other extreme exists too, including a ruth's chris steakhouse in what had been the old city hall, graced by a statue of benjamin franklin, the first statue cast in 'common' clothes (as oppossed to classical robes).
i'll finish tomorrow with the harbor, and a few leftovers. i do regret the many wonderful photos i didn't take......