Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Roundup

[The Gang. Photo by Garth.]

It was a great Thanksgiving. To get things started right, the Dude and I joined some of his school friends and their families for soccer on the grounds of St. Kate's. This is an annual tradition, but our first time. It was a lot of fun, running up and down the field, working up an appetite for turkey. We played the kids against the grown-ups. The kids won - of course.

[Kids in pursuit of the ball. Photo by Garth.]

Later we roasted the West bird and hosted my mom. Still later, the Hobbled Wife and I left the kids at home to join H & J and some of their family friends for dessert. We can't attend two Thanksgiving dinners, but we can attempt two desserts. We never had dessert, because we ended up watching Jakes' slides from his recent Africa trip. Had to leave to get home to the kids before we even had a chance for our pie. Oh well.

[Three friends. Photo by me.]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

[Turkeys on pallets.]

Today is Turkey Day at work. It's the day that every employee - and retiree - receives their free thanksgiving turkey. Being a large company, it's not unheard of that husbands and wives will both work here. They are referred to as "Two Turkey Families".

[Truckloads of turkeys await. You can drive up and they will open your car door and place it in your car for you. More robust employees will carry them to their cars - although it's not easy given the size of the parking lot.]

Where'd the Sun Go?

All morning long - sun streaming in the windows - but at noon - when I step out for my walk - clouds.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Flickr Fun

It looks like my new Flickr Badge - see sidebar - is working. I'm slowly loading my various photos to my new Flickr account.

Monday, November 17, 2008

7500 York - 30 Years

This story is probably of limited interested to my wide (hah!)network of readers. The Star Tribune had a nice story about the Senior Cooperative apartments that the Hobbled Mother lives in.

When Edina's 7500 York Cooperative for senior citizens was new, the residents who came down from their apartments to the first-floor restaurant for dinner wore suits and ties or dresses and high heels.

Walk the Dog?

Blame it on the time change, end of day light savings, or the meds to control seizures - whatever - this is Duke's idea of a walk in the morning.

He still rises to the occasion mid-day, and later - but the early morning (and after dark) are times to take-it-easy.

Time to Skate

Picture of the Dude resting during our Sunday skate at the Roseville Oval. It was our first skate of the season. It took a few laps, but we hadn’t lost all our technique, and ended up having a lot of fun. The Dude only fell twice.

We wanted to get in a little practice before the Dude starts speed skating in December.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cheap Gas

[Gassing up at the Trestle Stop.]

This is exciting. I filled my tank (11.223 gal) for only $21.09. Last time I purchased gas this cheap was January 23, 2007 ($1.85/gal).

This is cheap "Eagan" gas. A colleague of mine claims that gas is always cheaper in Eagan than anywhere else in Twin Cities area. While I haven't done a study myself, I do note that it's always cheaper in Eagan, than St. Paul or Roseville (my home town).

Oh - crap. Just checked the Twin Cities Gas Prices site. And they show gas for $1.77 in of all places - Roseville!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Are We There Yet?

[Dude - front in red coat, blue scarf - and classmates use map and compasses to find the way.]

Took some time off to help with a class project at the Dude's school. They are nearing the end of their geography unit and had to spend some time navigating the neighborhood with compasses and maps. The rain/sleet/snow had finally stopped and the weather was "good enough" for mid November.

[While observing the geography of the neighborhood, we stopped to notice the decreasing gas prices.]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A view from the walking-path this morning. It reminded me of Munch's Scream - with the "mouth" of the bird house agape and screaming "SNOW".

It's cold enough for the snow to stick to some surfaces. I officially got nailed with the first snowball of the season from the Dude.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Poetry Challenge

Whew! The Dude had an interesting assignment tonight. Make a poem out of this week's spelling words. Sounded easy to me - until I saw the words:


Go ahead - I dare you.

By the way - very cool thing about his new teacher. Each kid gets personalized spelling words - every week - 10 words just for them.

Friday, November 07, 2008

[Snow on an abandoned blue-bird house along the Waking Path at work.]

Snowing – but my mood is better. Surprisingly my mood improved shortly after arriving home and may have even gotten better DURING the cub scout leader meeting.
Home – everyone gone (even dog) and I was able to do a load of laundry and make dinner for family. It’s nice to actually DO something – accomplish something.

OK – Restart – I’m in a much better mood this today, despite the very weird start.

As part of Duke’s ongoing medical treatment, we were asked to “collect” a urine sample – preferably first thing in the morning. Apparently urine is so much better first thing in the morning.

Picture this: 6:00 a.m. and we step out of the house into the dark morning and a nice combination of freezing rain mixed with snow. I’m holding a pint sized yogurt container – all the better to “collect” my prize. But Duke decides that this morning he’ll do things a little differently.

Unlike every morning, today Duke decides not to pee right away, but proceeds to amble off into the field behind our house. I’m following with the yogurt container at the ready. Surprise – he does #2 first. Great, now I have a plastic bag full in one hand, and the yogurt container in the other. Thinking ahead I remove my gloves and stuff them in my pocket. I don’t want them to get messed up because I have no confidence in my ability to “collect” the sample at 6:00 am in the dark with this snowy, sleety stuff coming down.

Damn – my hands are cold!

Luckily he decides to pee. I get down on my knees, place the yogurt container in what seems the right place. Nope – I’m off – but with a warm, wet hand I quickly adjust and collect a rather large amount for scientific testing.

Now I have a bag full in my right hand, a yogurt container full of pee in the other. Both my hands are wet and cold – though one is wetter and colder than the other.

When I return to the house and report on my success, the Hobbled Wife says, “Good, but you didn’t need to collect that much. They only need a little.”

Yeah – I knew that.

Further medical updates – Dr. Stefan called with more information from the blood test. Duke has high cholesterol. Dr. Stefan reports that high cholesterol is common with hypo-thyroid.

Good news - since starting Duke on the phenobarbital - no seizures - but then it's only been a week. Side effect - tired dog.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Minnesota Lows and African Highs

Warning - this starts out like a report from Eeyore.

This picture sums it up for me - wet soggy leaves on the ground. Snapped this while dropping off the Dude at School.

I'm having post-election let down. After all the excitement, it's over. I'm not as jazzed about the trasnformative nature of the new order. While I voted for Senator Obama, I fear he can't live up to the many hopes and dreams that most supporters pin on him. Yes, it was/is a historical election, but he's just a man after all, and he's got his work cut out for him. What will we all say 12 months from now when we're still in Iraq, the economy hasn't rebounded - and Europe (don't they love us now) swung back to disliking us - cowboys that we are?

Hmm - getting that off my chest didn't help a bit. Maybe this will.

The Hobbled in-laws are in Africa and have this to report:

On Thu, Nov 6, 2008 at 5:59 AM, H wrote:

Hi guys: What an interesting time for us to be in Tanzania. We heard the results of the vote yesterday morning. The members of the Obama tribe were already celebrating and Kenya has a national holiday today. We got a Kenyan paper today and half the paper was devoted to Obama's victory. We drove through the countryside this morning and when we drove through villages people on the side of the road were yelling Obama and holding up the victory sign. . . . The trip is great. Saw a lot of animals yesterday and more today. We will be going to the Oldavai gorge tomorrow I think. Will write later.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Heat Wave

Too busy to post this yesterday - what with the summer-like temperatures. When's the last time you raked in shorts and barefeet on November 2. Last Sunday it snowed!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Family Fun

Today was a success! With kids this age, you never can tell how a "family event" will play out. This afternoon, we stopped by Natural Built Home to check on some flooring (for kitchen and entry hall) AND kitchen countertops. Kids were pretty restless there so we just took a lot samples and agreed to stop by again sans kids.

After the floor store, and since we were so close to Minnehaha Falls we decided to do a little hiking/walking. Duke was along for the ride since it's obvious he need more exercise (He still weighs 113 pounds - as of Friday's vet visit. He's also now on phenobarbital for his seizures).

We hiked down to where the Minnehaha Creek empties into the Mississippi River - just under the Ford Dam. The creek wasn't really emptying - since it was almost bone dry. The kids had fun making "boats" - logs and wood that were big enough to hold stones, etc that they launched from shore.

All-in-all a fun afternoon. We were home in time to do some yard work - more raking!

[Duke and the Hobbled Wife resting mid-hike.]