Monday, June 30, 2014

the forgotten camera

Yeah, we had a great weekend at the lake.  Everyone was prepared for the kind of patience and fortitude a weekend like this takes.    If everyone stays cool, we remember the good parts and forget any moments of insanity or tension.

And as we were about ten miles down the road, I realized I'd forgotten my camera on the breadbox in the kitchen.   I had the charger and all, but no camera.

Then about two hours into the trip, I realized that the pictures I'd taken at a real estate appointment I'd driven from the lake back to Minneapolis for? And then returned to the lake?

Were on the camera, and I needed them for a report to be filled out in the morning.

Oh, only unprintable language applies.

 The idea of five MORE hours of driving to retrieve the camera?   Noooo. It made me weak.

I thought I could contact the seller's friend and retake the pictures with a different camera, but that's stupid and embarassing.

Then I remembered John may have his laptop up there. He could maybe work magic.

He did have it with him, and he did perform magic.    At bedtime the photos arrived by email, praise God.

And these are some of the reasons I'm so glad it's now and am so happy for the magic of technology--like Jay was able to email me the pictures he'd taken with his phone over the weekend.

Anyway, those six little rowdies in a row at the top?  Just looking at the picture makes me laugh.

Good night.  love always, Val

Sunday, June 29, 2014

dad's birthday

Here we go, a fine, somewhat blurry picture of the cake.  It was delicious, but no surprises there.

Here's dad and a grandchild blowing out candles:

 And opening gifts:
We met back when you were like twenty one years old and I was zero, so we've known each other a very long time.

Thank you for the laughs, the lessons,the meals, the prayers, the college money, the  financial safety net, the encouragement and for upholding all of us as we sort life out and struggle through the rough spots.

You were never a very strict dad or prone to rules.  But you did know brats from good kids, and a well told story could impart a lot if the listeners had ears to hear.

Like the day Grandpa told you that he'd seen some real bad-acting kids in town and you and Wes pondered on who it could have been? What kids had you guys even run into in town? Then you realized he meant YOU TWO.

Yeah. Even to the point some anecdote would be shared and I'd feel concerned enough to ask Mom: "Is he trying to slip me a message??"  

"Oh gosh, I don't think so!"   Well.  I'm not sure.

And yet the time John wanted to you to go down to the basement with him so he could shoot the cap gun, and you said  you weren't interested because he'd probably shoot you--and John answered, "Oh I would only shoot you in the feet because you're OLD."  (You were 41.)


Thank you for believing in us and loving us.

This whole family loves you SO MUCH.   love forever, Val and EVERYBODY, hey.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

same old place

love, Val

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

their anniversary

My aunt and uncle, my godparents, live in the beautiful hills of western Wisconsin.

It's always beautiful there.  A summer day like this one?  Yes.

A day in the fall?  Stunning.

Winter?  Yeah, breathtaking.

Those are my kids, trooped down the cornfield to show the grandkids some cows.

They liked them.  The cows obligingly moo-ed and let the kids scratch their foreheads.

Dan says when he puts the kid up on his shoulders he messes with his bald spot.  Kids are so kind.  They also play with the fat on the back of my arms.  Anyway, I suggested he kiss his dad's head, and he did, which was pretty cute.
 The tire swing was a huge hit.
  And this sandbox under the willow tree was too.

A long time ago, about the time their oldest child was born, they lived in an old farmhouse with big sunny windows and also an outhouse.    What I remember about this is that you'd have to put a coat on to go potty, and then my dad would walk us out there and he smoked then.

People smoked a lot back in the day.  Anyway, he could light a match on the walls inside the outhouse.  (It was lined with tar paper.)

Well, they haven't had that in a long time.  You gotta have a lighter.  Plus nobody smokes really anymore.

They are still the same wonderful aunt and uncle they've been my whole life with a herd of grandkids who are great and facebook helps all us cousins keep in touch.

(I love facebook for reasons like that.)

 Their grandson gave guests a ride back and forth from the cars to the house, and kid rides in between.
Dan and John with my mother:

 And we had this fine photo of my girls in a row.  I showed it to Joe and said, "All your sisters in law, look.  You are a lucky man."

He nodded, "True."

I added, "Some days."

We laughed.  Oh yeah, Joe can piss off a sister in law like nobody's business.  That's why that video of BeyoncĂ©'s sister taking a swing at JZ had me laughing my head off.  (What did he SAY to her?)  You know there's a story there.

Here they are, newlyweds:

 And a few years later:
And now it's now, and life is awful good.

Best wishes, you guys.

Happy Anniversary, and love always,  Val and EVERYBODY

a weekend alone

 It was just Jay and me and the three little kids for a couple days at the cabin.  It was fine, nice.

They brought along this game, Mall Madness, which was fun, though a little confusing as games are, especially when the instructions are explained by children.

Jay's not big on shopping at the mall anyway, and he got more and more aggravated and cantankerous as the game went on until finally even though he won, he stomped off.

Kari quipped, "Yeah, he's pretty much rocking the madness."

In the morning we went to the fishing museum in Hayward.

That's the big fish with a stairway inside and viewing tower out the mouth.

 Here's the view from inside the mouth of the fish.

 And back down the stairs:

 There was a fishing pond outside, sunfish swimming.

 The view from underneath:

 Taxidermy fish were everywhere.  Some dude named Frenchy caught this in 1973.
 Posing with the statues:

We were here once before, in the fall of 2006.   When we were looking in this diorama that day, an actual live mouse was running around in this scene.

 And in 2006, these guys were four and two.  Julia especially was rebellious and difficult.  She rolled on the floor and yelled about every little thing.

Now she's almost ten and quite civilized.

Yeah, a taxidermy bear, much like the REAL bear we saw in the field when we got home.

 After the museum we walked downtown to the art festival and looked in all the booths, and bought fancy candy, and had lunch on the patio at some bar.

It was a lovely, lovely day and it's fun that they're so adult-like and easy.

Okay, in the photo below-- there's where we saw the bear in the field.   From behind he looked like Sam, except we left Sam at home in the city with the big kids.   Then this newf-looking critter turned to look at us and had the face of a BEAR and then quickly ran back into the woods.

I mean, we knew there are bears around, but we've never seen one before.

 Sea salt chocolate covered caramels--amazing.

 And then we went for a ride around the lake.

This morning we got up right away and headed for my aunt and uncle's place for a 50th anniversary party.

And tonight we were back in town so we could go downtown and listen to jazz--my sales manager plays piano.   And now it's the end of the night.

Perfect, beautiful June.   love always, Val, aka MOM