Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Raccoons and Bees

It has been a long day. I woke up about 7, which isn't too bad but when I went to the kitchen Ardmore asked me what happened to my flower pot on the deck. I didn't know what he was talking about. All I had on the deck was one covered flower pot because of a frost prediction. Well, a raccoon or some other animal must have decided to dig for something in the pot, dirt and flowers were all over the northeast corner of the deck. It was close to the winter bird feeder, and we had a raccoon feast off of the sunflowers last fall. The animal must have smelled the sunflowers and came to investigate. The mess took about an hour to clean up including the hosing of the deck. It was already in the fifties so I put the flower pots and hanging plants back out on the deck and took the pails off of the eight pots in front of the house.

The dirt had accumulated on the carpet by the sliding doors and with company coming on Monday, it seemed like a good time to vacuum and dust. I ended up going in to work at 11:30.

This evening, I started to mow the yard...again. Ardmore noticed that there were several hundred bees in the air by the back of the barn and when I was mowing on the east side of the shop I saw them swarming. They were in a mass about 2-3 feet around and Ardmore thought about 2-3 inches thick. After they settled down I took some photos.

Bee Swarm

My brother and wife will probably be here on Monday evening. Bob has a severe allergic reactions to bees so I hope the swarm has left. If not the bee keepers will come and take care of the bees.

I spent much of my time working on a PowerPoint program for new board members today. One of the board members will be in to critique it tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The School Year and Spring Wind-down

This is the last week of student tours. We had forty first grade students from the Greenbush/Middle River Schools in today. Tomorrow we will have one third grade class from Roseau. Although we invited the rest of the third grade classes to come in, they decided not to and asked if they could come in and do the scavenger hunt in the fall. Hopefully by then we will have finished the new exhibit designs and will be on our way to the Minnesota Sesquicentennial exhibits. Last week was so busy, it is good to see it wind down.

I always worry about funding, especially for exhibit designing. The Key Ingredients exhibits really caught people's attention and we were fortunate to be able to find funders that covered all of our expenses. I guess it just takes faith and if we do it the way we did last year, funding shouldn't be a problem.

I have had some pain in my hip these past couple of days. I think I over did on Saturday! We had six to seven acres to mow and I started mowing at about 9 am and finished around 11:30, except for an area where Ardmore had the truck that holds our drill hoppers. Once he moved the truck, he decided to mow there, which was a nice relief. I fixed us some lunch. He had used the neighbor's roller packer to pack the soybean field in the early morning, about 6 so was quite hungry when he came in. Tired too, he headed to bed for a nap right after he ate. I went to town and picked up some more flowers for my container gardens. I also did a little grocery shopping. Arriving home meant more work, I wanted to get those plants into the pots TODAY, all 19 pots and I did! By the time I finished, the sky looked like it might rain and the grass clippings were in rows that didn't look too pretty so those had to be swept off too. It is so great to have a lawn sweep, it takes so little effort to pick up the grass and make the yard look better. By that time I needed to go for a walk and stretch out the muscles that I had cramped up sitting on the lawn mower. It sure was nice to enjoy the deck and the flower pots and drink some cold water after the walk.

Yesterday dawned cool and rainy. Memorial Day services were held in the high school auditorium/gym and a nice crowd was in attendance. The Roseau High School Advanced History class of Aaron Nelson's had spent much time video taping and documenting about 12 WWII veterans. They compiled a documentary called "A Soldier's Song" from the interviews. It was very moving. The class had put together binders with all of the soldier's taped interviews and presented them to each vet and also presented one to me for the historical society. This will be a lasting tribute to these veterans who served in WWII. I can see family's coming in to see the video in the mini theater. Aaron also said that they planned to record several DVDs for the historical society to sell as several people were interested in obtaining a copy - a very nice gesture on the part of the students and Aaron. They will sell for $10 each.

Ardmore went into the doctor today for his stuffy nose. He thinks he has a sinus infection which is causing terrible headaches. About three weeks ago he saw an ear, nose, and throat specialist; the same one who had removed polyps from his nose several years ago. He says Ardmore has polyps again. Ardmore doesn't want surgery so decided to ask for some prednisone and antibiotics. The doctor gave him some today. I hope they help.

My surgery recovery is basically going very well even with a little pain. Yesterday at the Memorial Day service , I walked off without my cane a couple of times, including when I went to receive the WWII veteran binder. I felt I walked fairly well. My left knee caused me to have a painful walk sometimes. It was not too good this morning but is better after I worked out tonight. Interesting. I can't extend my knee back flat anymore. I think it is a spur on the tibia. I hope Dr. Schall looks at my xrays and can tell if that is the case. My knee clicks and catches, probably on the cartilage. Such is the part of wearing out as one gets older.

Our children spent the weekend off in all different directions, except for Michelle and her family. Brian text me from New York City where he went for 8 days of vacation. James and another fellow rented two sail boats and headed for Catalina Island with friends. Michelle had Breanne and Josh's baby for a couple of days while they did some things alone and she was going to do some gardening. After Breanne picked up Damen yesterday, Michelle , Leah and Bryce went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I told them to use my credit card and enjoy everything, popcorn, pop and the whole ball of wax. I just wish I was there to go with them.

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."- Martha Washington

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tours and Scavenger Hunts

This has been an incredibly busy week at the museum. This week the student tours began in earnest, with four classes this morning in about 2 hours. We took the Key Ingredients: Roseau County by Food scavenger hunt and did a little revising. It went very well. My assistant picked out two to three items in each area (Land of Plenty, Home Cooking, Fesivals and Fests, Dynamic Delivery, and Local Flavors) and she add about 5 more fun tidbits in case we needed them. The teachers loved it! It is such a relief when they like what we do.

We started on the Bill and Maggi Adams collection again this week. Yesterday I pulled out three boxes and had a volunteer start on the smaller items and pulled out the scrapbooks for the two volunteers I call the Sister Chicks, both are in their late seventies or early eighties and do such a wonderful job cataloging. They enjoyed going through Maggi's scrapbooks so much they worked until almost 4 o'clock. I had to take one scrapbook back to my office and check it out as Maggi had conversed with the Pulitzer Prize winning author Marc Connelly for over 15 years. The letters were a wonderful show of friendship and affection. She also conversed with Norman Rockwell. She was so much more than we ever could imagine. Her artwork is a joy to look at, with such a variety of styles.

Ardmore seeded the last field today. I am sure he is relieved. All that he has to do to complete the seeding, is pack the soybeans with the packer. Within a couple of weeks, he will be spraying. He took the spray coup into Farm Service (now Titan Equipment) for repair as he couldn't get it started. They have it ready so I am thinking tomorrow he will pick it up. The wheat is starting to come up in the rows too.

I took my Mercury into the shop today. The windows and the cruise are not working right, the front end made a clunk, and the blinker wouldn't blink correctly. Most of the things were minor but the window and the cruise needed repair. Ardmore didn't believe me about the cruise, so he had to try it and of course, for him it worked. It is no good unless it works for me and he had these hands with thumbs and fingers that are three times bigger than mine. Of course, it would work for him! So now what, I have to suffer with the car and not have it work for me? I will have to have the guys at Ford show me why it doesn't work for me but works for him.

Yesterday was my two month check up. Everything went very well. He told me that I was doing very well and was a post child for hip replacement! A Poster Child, at 64, wonderful! Today I went to physical therapy to work out, first time this week. I have had to walk at home lately as I haven't had time to work out on the machines. It really felt good to hit the Nautilus.

Time to hit the sack, we have five tours of second graders tomorrow. Life will be very busy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seed Time and Rain

It seems like when one finally gets into the field in the spring, the mist and rain begins. Ardmore cultivated on Friday and seeded on Saturday and a little yesterday after church. We knew that rain was coming for today and tomorrow, the Internet satellite signalled rain also. So today he will catch up on some must needed sleep.

All does not go well on the farm when the season begins. He had purchased press drills this spring. He is not too sure he wants to go with an air seeder yet, we have a variety of soils from gumbo to a lighter mix. In comparing the old and new, they are the same size, John Deere green, but this one has an attached transport and markers. I wonder how he likes the markers? I sure would, perhaps they would help me stay straight when I seeded. Just getting use to the way the transport operated was new. He forgot to request the book from the owner, so it was lets try this and that and finally the wheels were down or up and it was time to roll. Well he has about 90 out of our 400 acres seeded. We will be able to see how this rain affects the gumbo field we seeded on highway 89. I hope he will consider having me do some cultivating this spring.

The lawn had reached the point where someone really had to attack it so I put on my duds and headed for the JD rider, just to see if it was possible to mow without back or hip pain. It went wonderfully. I will not do the ditches yet. I divided the lawn into two days, we have about 6-7 acres to mow with a 5 foot mower. It went very well and I feel like I was one more step closer to recovery.

Last week, Dr. Schall's office gave me permission to go on the tread mill. So now I have graduated to that also. I feel like each day my recovery is better and better. I have noticed a little back pain once in a while so I plan to find out if he gave me a Kenalog shot following surgery. I sure hope not.

Last week was so busy at work. The Minnesota History Contest went very well. Seven school participated, which meant that 21 students took the test. The Warroad sixth grade class of Ron Tviet came in first, second, and third, something that seems to have happened every year except last year. It is great to see the students strive so hard to come to this test. Each year the students do better and better. This year, out of about 215 questions, the top person had only 58 wrong. Yes, it is a very hard test, and tries their thinking ability.

I also was able to complete the final photos and poster for the consortium. Tamara met me half way at Grygla to pick them up. I am anxious to see the exhibit and plan to head to Thief River Falls and see it at the Englestad Arena where it will be for their "Capital for a Day". I guess I had better check the kickoff times for that. Now it is time to focus on our exhibits!

Thoughts on Mother's Day. I always have a very hard time on Mother's Day. With no one near to visit me, I look at it so differently. This year was a little easier for some reason though. The phone calls arrived, several times a day in fact. Michelle's card was on time and I know the others are on their way. Each one of them is busy but they all remembered to call and send a card. Perhaps I am getting more understanding.

A Mother's Day thought from the Spring 2008 issue of Thrivent Magazine:

Hello Mom!
"Many moms like nothing more than a child's phone call on Mother's Day.
An grown-up kids know it. In years past, the holiday has been the busiest Sunday of the year for telephone volume, according to the Pew Research Center. To make you call home to Mom extra special this year [well next year]:

Share a Memory
Remind your mother of a particular meaningful moment, day or time you once spent with her. Then explain why it sticks out in your mind.

Show Gratitude
Tell your mom that you appreciate her, both for the role she played in raising you and now that your relationship has grown up.

Give Thanks
Before you hang up, thank your mom for one thing-big or small-that she's done for you during the year.

Say, "I Love You!"
Perhaps no words will ring more sweetly."

Now doesn't that just say it all? thanks Thrivent for the inspiration!

James is contemplating purchasing a yacht to live on. I find this very interesting. I, myself, can't imagine living on a yacht, but he looks at life differently. I guess each generation does. I will say the ones he showed me online were quite nice. They reminded me a travel trailer though. Perhaps, that is where the travel trailer design came from.

Brian was busy doing hair for a movie set at a house. Michelle and Dave were home doing odds and ends and watching a movie. Breanne was tending to Damen and Josh. Josh had gone rafting with friends and stepped on something sharp in the water and ended up getting 7 stitches.

Well, I hear Ardmore is up and about so I think I will go and get some breakfast on.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It ain't spring yet...but

Well the snow disappeared by last Wednesday but is remains a little chilly. I went for a walk on Friday but almost froze. I had not taken any gloves and ended up putting my hands up my sleeves to keep them warm. Then yesterday I walked for about 3/4 mile and it went pretty well, not so cold. That was the longest I have walked so far. I do anywhere up to 3/4 mile on the step abductor machine almost daily so that is a big help also.

Today we proof read the Minnesota History contest and printed out the student copies. About three of the teachers sent their student's names to us via email also. We are still waiting for the other four to send theirs. I thought we would only have six and we have seven attending schools. I hope to invite more school next year, now that all Minnesota schools teach Minnesota history in sixth grade. Thursday is our test day. When I called Border Bank in Badger for the saving bonds donation, I was pleased to hear that their president would like to participate again. That is such good pr for the historical society and the sponsors.

Oil is at the highest price it has ever been today, $122 a barrel. Gas will be about $3.70 tomorrow in Roseau. Our family members in California are paying close to $4.25 now. The American dollar is also at one of its lowest levels. The talk is that it is what is contributing to the price of oil. With mortgage foreclosures at an all time high, gas as high as it is, and then the price of grain so high, it is a wonder anyone can pay for living costs. I am sure that is one of the reasons why the Democrats are doing so well, that and the Iraq war. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are close contestants for the Democratic presidency ticket, but Obama is ahead. Today was a big day for Obama, he took North Carolina. Although Clinton is ahead in Indiana, it is too close to call tonight. By morning we will know where Indiana stands. McCain has sewed up the Republican convention. I am very curious as to who his running mate will be. I would like to see someone with values and business sense like Mitt Romney.We'll see.

Well tomorrow is another big day at work. We will try to complete the final posters for the consortium so I can take them down on Thursday pm.

Mother's Day is just around the corner. I always have a very hard time on Mother's Day with our children so far away. They always send me flowers and wonderful cards; call and tell me they love me, but I would just love to have them here with me for that weekend. I was reading an article in a magazine about Mother's Day and it hit the nail on the head. I will have to see if I can find it as there were some key words for family members. If I find it I will enter it in here.