Thursday, February 26, 2009

Four days to the grand opening

The time has gone by so fast. For several days now, volunteers have arrived to help with signage and putting exhibits together. STS was in yesterday and rearranged the car, put the back on an exhibit case, hung a photo of Roseau High School's first graduating class. The piano was delivered for the musical numbers to be performed on Sunday.

To those who don't know what is going on, the Roseau County Historical Society is opening the first celebration of Woman's History Month at the museum on Sunday, March 1 at 2 pm. We will have a ribbon cutting and then honor several women (called One Woman)who have been selected by the cities and townships in the county as women who have contributed above and beyond to their communities. We will also honor the women who have contributed to the education of the children of our county whether they are teachers, paralegals, secretaries, janitors, cooks, well you get the idea.about 1/3 of the exhibits have been transformed to state these areas. It has been a lot of work, but what a wonderful example of a pioneer classroom and modern classroom are exhibited. Teachers of the Year from across the county will also be honored. See find out more about the events being held go to our website, Roseau County Historical Society events to locate a schedule. These programs are open to the public and are free of charge.

Well, it is time to get ready for work, or I will be late!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stiffness and Total Knee Replacement

One of the major problems with total knee replacement can be stiffness. It is almost 8 months since my tkr and I continue to have stiffness. It is not just a morning problem, it can be a middle of the day or evening situation also. I woke up at 4 this morning and was so stiff I decided to rock in the rocking chair.

One of the reasons for my stiffness is not going on the bike or rocking in our wooden rocking chair lately. Work has been all consuming what with the upcoming opening of our exhibit on Sunday.I have spent countless hours working until 7 or 8 and come home too tired or it is too late to exercise. One thing I decided to do yesterday, should have done this LONG time ago, is to take a walk in the morning while my car is warming up. In Minnesota, it is not uncommon to warm one's car for 10 to 15 minutes in the winter before you drive it. It warms up the transmission oil and the motor oil giving the car a chance to lubricate better. Yesterday was the first morning I headed down the road for about a half mile plus walk. Last night when I got home at 8:30, I again headed down the road. This gave me about a mile walk for the day, a help for sleeping and exercise but did nothing for my (rom) range of motion. I also did not ride the stationary bike when I came home.

When I woke up at 4 this morning I decided to rock for a while, then put a weight on the ankle of the knee with the tkr and work the bend. That helped quite a bit. I do not have the greatest rom, only about 105 degrees. I have pain when I come down the stairs normally, but force myself to do this anyway. Another thing that is bothersome is the swelling, this of course affects the rom, and my knee is always swollen still. Even after icing it is swollen. I encourage anyone who has tkr to purchase a stationary bike and ride it! Also a good old fashioned wooden rocker or a glider rocker is imparitive to your success in regaining rom. I still do the exercises that I received during physical therapy, not every day but about 3 to 4 times a week. They help with strength and rom.

Now a little about what is going on at the museum for those snow birds who are interested. We have about 3/4 of our signage completed. I believe that we will be done by Friday, better be it is my 65th birthday and I am having a pool party with my "girl friends" and I will not be available amy more! Sunday at 2 pm is the ribbon cutting ceremony and the introduction of the one woman township and city selections. I am excited for the One Woman nominees and look forwad to seeing how many family members and friends come out to honor these women. Lots of work and planning has gone into everything. What a great group of women we have worked with on this program! It is phenomenal to see how things have come together. If you aren't home by Sunday snow birds, you will be missing something very special!

Well, it is time to try and go back to sleep. This is the first morning that I have not gotten up and worked on exhibit signage. I even get to sleep in, well until 7:30 anyway.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It's crunch time at the museum. We have a week and a half until we open Women's History Month, Oh my! So much to do I wake up at night, after I couldn't sleep in the first place, with my mind in full gear. To top it off, I am having a problem with my left eye. It started to be painful under the eye a couple of days ago. I have an appointment at 3 today. One more thing to make things go slower!

Today one of the small exhibits is going to be installed. I have no idea what this woman is expecting so we will be in dark until she brings everything in. I did see a photo though and we are hoping that we can pull it together.

Photos of exhibits from other museums are a wonderful help for small museums as is the Smithsonian exhibits on line. Their exhibits give wonderful ideas that one can use to design an exhibit in your own area.

Following the 2002 flood in Roseau, I visited numerous museums so we could design a museum for the future. I took hundreds of photos and now have an arsenal of exhibition examples. One could say that is copying, but in the museum world, if someone copied an exhibit of ours, I would be honored.

Although I don't spend a lot of time doing it, I enjoy cooking and baking. A couple of weeks ago I made the most delicious cookies. I don't remember where the recipe came from , I'm sure it wasn't my original, but they sure went fast.

Nutmeg Snicker Doodles

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon (or your taste)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (or your taste)

Mix dry ingredients together. Cream first five items, add dry ingredients and mix until smooth. form into round balls and roll in sugar mixture.
Bake 350 about 9 minutes or until light brown on edges.

I am waiting for our new phones to arrive. We have just had our cell phone carrier changed to Verizon Wireless. I am hoping that the service it good and we don't end up paying through the nose for this new change.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Woman's History Month and a little knee rehabilitation

Things are moving right along with the exhibit setup for the upcoming Woman's History Month. Last evening several of the women were in working on exhibits, helping with signage, and taking publicity photos. It is getting very exciting! We are now moving into the final two weeks before we have our grand opening. Wow!

Two classrooms have materialized, a early 20th century and a modern one. The educators involved in the exhibits have put in many hours, especially on the modern classroom, ensuring that it represents every aspect of what a classroom of today has in it. We even have a set of lockers!

Britt and I have been working hard and furious trying to get the signage ready within this next week for the exhibits. One of the hardest things to work with are the photos we have access to. Many of them come from books, including school yearbooks. The quality is not always good and they are hard to improve. We try to make up for it by improving the signage. Every once in a while, some additional glitches appear, today we found out that the individual we thought was the first principal or superintend was not correct. Ouch! We have no idea where to go from here with that one. Hopefully someone will do some research and the info will turn up, with a photo too.

I have been trying to increase my range of motion on the tkr and yesterday I dropped my stationary bike seat down about 1/4 inch. This may not seem like much but believe me the first time one tries to pedal, you know you have changed something. The interesting thing about pedaling on a stationary bike and rocking in a wooden rocking chair is that they really help not only with the flexibility but also with the pain. I do ice after exercising most days. It helps with inflammation and also pain. I also do a lot of massaging of my knee (and hip) as this seems to improve circulation and helps ease pain. I am past seven months on the total knee replacement and close to a year on the hip replacement. The hip seems to just improve constantly without any real work other than exercising, including walking and biking. My goal is to purchase a 5-speed bike this summer and work toward riding the full six miles from here to Ross and back or to highway 3 and back. That should give me a good workout. The key to recovery really seems to be exercise.

Biking brought back so many memories of when our older two children were young. We lived in Hoyt Lakes Minnesota when they were young. Michelle graduated from Aurora-Hoyt Lakes High School; Brian wanted to graduate from Roseau, which turned out to be the same year James started school. This led to our moving permanently to the Haugen family farm in Roseau. Hoyt Lakes really catered to young families back then. It has wonderful bike paths, at that time a life guard at Colby beach, two nice playgrounds; one of which we lived right across the street. Brian fell from the top of the slide while climbing up the slide, not the steps, one day and broke his arm. By the time it was ready to come off, he had gone through 3 casts. Why you may ask, because he hung from the monkey bars by the cast and went swimming with it on (covered but...) several times.

Back to the biking. One of our favorite activities was to bike out to Fisherman's Point, which was about 2-2.5 miles from out house. We usually stopped at the gas station and bought some pop and took some bread to feed the ducks that weren't suppose to be fed. :) We also enjoyed riding to the St. Louis River which was about three miles way. We skipped rocks there. Now we would probably go farther because a paved road goes to the North Shore very close to the river. I was in much better shape then, you can imagine. Good memories!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rain and Ice

If there is one thing we don't like in February, it is rain! It started sometime last night and this morning there was a thin sheet on everything. It rained off and on all day, Grand Forks reported 3/8th inch. We had 39 F so it finally quite freezing but that wasn't enough for the ice to melt. We closed the museum today and I probably won't go in tomorrow either. There will be no walking outside for me until it quits raining! A friend told me that her husband insisted on going out even after she told him she wouldn't be able to help him if he fell. He would not pay any attention to her, what man does! He ended up falling and had to crawl back into the house! Ardmore put on his spiked boots so he could go out to the shop.

There is a new strain of staph virus that is going around and our granddaughter Leah has become a victim two times now. Today she went to the doctor and was told she would have some problems with this as she is susceptible to it. She was put on antibiotics. We are all concerned that it comes under control.

Our son, James is busy doing some air force business in Maryland and called tonight. I wonder if this weather will end up there too. He is in the Civil Air Patrol and went flying in LA on Saturday. He does this fairly often as training. His favorite place to fly is over the ocean. There is less traffic and he loves to fly the coastal area.

Brian starred in the play, A Compulsive Line on Saturday. It is a play about people who have compulsive disorders and was designed in the format of the play A Chorus Line. He played the part of the director. I get very discouraged when I am so far away from our family and can't attend things like this. At least this isn't the turn of the Twentieth century when one would never see or talk to their children when they moved to another country. We at least can talk every day and even go on Skyp and talk face to face. Pity the pioneer, who knowing they would probably never see them again, still sent their children to the New Land with hopes that their life would be better.

On a techie note, we changed internet providers today. We were both thrilled to see how much faster it is surfing the web. Fun!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Walking in the winter

Seeing as how it "looked" like it was much warmer according to I decided to head out for a walk. 7 mile an hour wind at 29 above couldn't be too bad right? Wrong! In our sheltered yard the wind was just a light breeze, by the time I got halfway down the driveway there were thoughts of going in for more clothes. Commitment is tough in the winter but one must endure so endurance it was, a mile and half of endurance in northwest winds. I walked south so first the right side was freezing and coming back the left side froze. Hot chocolate, marshmallows and a cookie in the recliner was a delight!

Last night I finished reading the first of Stephenie Meyers' Twilight Series. Leah finished and had raved about it, plus several of my younger friends had also given it high marks, so I though, why not. It was fun to read, definitely young adult fiction but that didn't keep me from enjoying it. I had read Meyer's science fiction book The Host last fall and thought it was quite thought provoking. I see it is number 4 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

I have also downloaded the audio book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Blink is about our immediate reaction to anything and how we are affected by the reaction, i.e. cognitive reaction. I heard him talk on the CBC Radio podcast The Next Chapter and was very impressed by him. (Another plus for my iPod, I would never think of listening to this program due to the time it is on the radio.)

Now it is time to move on to a new book. Hum, do I have time right now with all that is going on at the museum? I do have two on the shelf right now that may be interesting. Full Speed by Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes, plus A Christmas to Remember by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer.I know that Christmas has come and gone, but I live in Minnesota where right now Christmas doesn't like it was so long ago.

Well it is time to go ride the bike and then ice the knee, it has been quite sore today for some reason.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Exhibits and TKR

Yesterday, the education committee was in and setup the old style turn of the century classroom. It looks very good. I will have to look for a couple of things that I see they didn't have. Somewhere in the museum we have an old flag and the box that the rotating library books came in. Today, several items will be arriving from a local school so the committee can put together the modern class room. We talked about putting black plastic in front of each of exhibit to create more excitement when the exhibit opens March 1.

It is very cold this morning, -24 F. It looks like the rest of the week will be better though, I think it may even be in the thirty above range by Friday. WooHoo!

We have a consortium meeting in Thief River Falls at 10:30 to discuss a new traveling exhibit. I think this one may be on churches in northwest Minnesota. This one should take considerable research but will add much to the research centers in all of our museums.

On a different take today. One my children s favorite desserts when they were growing up was a quick and easy pudding recipe.

Prepare one large box Jell-o chocolate cook and serve pudding according to directions.
Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 coconut, now I also add 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips. Stir and serve with whipping cream or Cool Whip.

I have started icing my knee following exercises again. I have noticed it increases my range of motion and I have less pain. Exercising is the key to increasing rofm and helping with stiffness. I also find that my strength is vastly improved when I do my floor exercises. Kneeling is not a real problem although getting up is. I have no pain in my knee when I kneel and I can do several exercises on my knees also.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Yesterday, hubby and I went to a funeral for a classmate and former neighbor of his. She discovered a return of cancer a short while ago and went very quickly. She had been to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester about six months ago and had been given a clean bill of health. It is serves as a reminder that we never know our future.

The funeral was well attended and the people had spilled over into the dining area with some even standing. The family is quite large and needed all the pews in this small church. Sometime about three-quarter of the way through the funeral service, the wind came up with rain and snow. It was so strong it rattled the windows and howled outside. When we moved out of the dining area so the family could come in, Ardmore and I headed outside. He had a meeting in another hour and although I had planned to stay a while, the conditions made me change my mind and I headed home against the ferocious winds. I was very glad to walk into my warm toasty home and make a taco pizza.

This morning dawned cloudy but warm and no wind. Would have been perfect for a walk but we had to be at church for an early morning meeting. When we returned home it was in the 20s and I decided to go for a walk. We ate and I went down and started puttering; it was almost 5 when I put on the winter gear to go for the walk, iPod in my pocket. About two minutes after I headed out a strong nw wind came up again, 22 miles an hour! I thought it was going to blow me over. I walked about a 1/3 of mile and nearly froze so turned around and walked in the yard where there was hardly any wind, just a lot of tree noise as the wind charged through them. Decided I was ride the stationary bike for a while and then iced the throbbing knee. TKR recovery is much harder than a person realizes, but the results are so much better than the earlier pain.

This week we had one of our favorite meat dishes, which so easy to fix. Years ago I received a Campbell' s Soup cookbook. It has several mum good, mum good recipes. This was one of them:

1 1/2 pounds round steak or tender chucks cut into 4 pieces
1 can French onion soup
1/2 can water
1 can cream of mushroom soup, I prefer the beefy mushroom but regular works well too.

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish and put the meat in, salt and pepper it on both sides and pour the French onion soup and water over the meat, add the mushroom soup and stir a little to combine.

Bake in a 350 oven for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender. Serve over potatoes or rice.
An alternative to this recipe is to use ground beef, fried with 1 stalk celery and 1/4 onion, diced, add the soups plus 1 full can of water, then add 1 can uncooked rice. This can be cooked on top of the stove in an electric skillet and is ready in about 3/4 hour.

I was listening to the Splendid Table today and hear that the bundt cake is making a come back. As a Minnesotan, where the bundt cake originated, my ears perked. A new book has just come out Bundt Cake Bliss by Susanna Short. Most reviews were excellent, sounds like a good book to have on hand. I can even taste a chocolate cherry bundt cake with a drizzle of fudge frosting on the top. Yum!