Sunday, December 16, 2012

Time to get ready for the SEASON!

I love Christmas! The music, the programs, decorating, and visiting malls. So you are thinking I like to do my Christmas shopping at malls, right? Sorry, I love to watch the people, listen to music from the mall performers, but most of see mall decorations.
I think Winnipeg is my favorite place to visit during the holidays. Probably because we live only about 100 miles south of the Canadian city of about 750,000. The lower level in Portage Place during the holidays, especially on weekends, often has musical groups perform. So far this Christmas season I have not headed north , but this week I plan to go.

Now shopping in Winnipeg is a different story. I do that at the St. Vital Center more then any other place. There is a huge Borders book store with a Starbucks where one can escape the crowd and have peaceful snack and read a bit in a book you just purchased or the downloaded book on your phone or iPad. The blueberry coffee cake is delish!

Think of the best thing that happened to you today, meditate about it, and put it in your memory bank. Have a great day!

Friday, November 30, 2012

End of November 2012

The closer we come to the holiday's the faster time seems to leave us behind. One of the young families in our branch invited us to Thanksgiving dinner. With four little one around, it was a lively and enjoyable afternoon. The food was very festive and delicious.

My brother and sister-in-law had planned to come up the Monday after Thanksgiving. Plans changes due his having just been hired at the hospital in Aurora as a part-time physical therapist assistant. He will be filling in for the physical therapist when she has days off and vacation. Needless to say he ended up working then.They do plan to come up but it won't be for a couple of weeks now.

Looking back over the past month, all I can say, it was busy. On the nineteenth, the Ya Ya Gang Relay for Life time, had our annual Holiday Happenings. This year, we decided we needed a larger place and held it in the back room of Skippy Finns, the old VFW in Badger. It was a great room and even with all that room we were crowded. Our hours were from five to eight pm.

This year we added a "Ya Ya Gang U-Pik Cookies" sale with cookies sold by the pound, this was very successful. All cookies were donated and we had a wonderful variety. There wasn't much left at the end of the night. Micky Slater, Gwen Gross, and I were in charge of the "Cookie by the Pound" and the "Broken Cookie Cafe."

There baskets galore for the Silent Auction!

We noticed the vendors were busy all evening.

As well as those working with the bake sale.
Our group is a winner, we raised over $4,000!
Everyone  made the same cookie and I baked eight dozen Pecan Tassies. Yesterday, I baked the same recipe again for next week's Christmas Tea for the doctors, their spoused, the staff and anyone who chooses to stop at the hospital for coffee an' to visit with the staff and doctors.

This is the recipe for the Pecan Tassies. I put a few photos at the end to give one an idea of how to prepare them.

1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. flour
Using a food processor or a mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter then add the flour. I like my cream cheese and butter to start out a little on the cool side. Chill the dough for about a 1/2 hour if you start with softened butter and cream cheese. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut in the shell, and press into miniature muffin tins. I have put photos after the recipe so one can see how they are pressed into the pan.

Chop 2/3 c. pecans  and place about 3/4 to a teaspoon of pecans in the shells.

Top with this FILLING:
Mix together:
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. butter, softened
Pinch of salt

 Spoon filling into shells to about 3/4 full and bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes or until the shells are light brown. When done, let cool a bit in the pan, then carefully run a knife around the edge prior to removing the tassies. These freeze well. 

Makes 24 Pecan Tassies.

Press cream cheese base into miniature muffin pan.

Up close example!

Place the pecans in the bottom and then top with the brown sugar mixture and bake.

 Our adorable little grandson, Lance Bjorn, is walking up a storm now. So cute to see him walk like his cousins. He is such a peaceable little boy. Very seldom do I hear that he is crying about something. I haven't seen him on Skype lately but Ashley has been wonderful to put videos and photos on Facebook for us to see.

For the past month I have been suffering with trigger finger in my right hand pinky and ring finger. I had Dr. Schall, my orthopedic doctor about two weeks ago and he told me to try anti inflammatory medication and if that wasn't helping to call his office and he would see me and give me a cortisone shot. After continuing to suffer and having sleepless nights, I called last Friday,when they were closed. On Tuesday, his nurse, Shona called to tell me he would see me on Wednesday the Bone and Joint Clinic in Grand Forks. I had made appointments for Visiting Teaching with two sisters and ended up canceling one so I could get there in time. He gave me shots in both fingers. The ring finger gave me the most grief as it stayed numb and tingled until sometime early morning. Today was like a new day. I could quilt and do anything I had done before the problem. I am hoping it will last for several months. Thank you for seeing me Dr. Schall and for all you do to make my life so much better than it was physically almost five year ago.

Bedtime is calling. The electric mattress pad is on and my feet are cold so that bed is going to feel like heaven!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Winter Weather Warnings

It has been misting out for the past three days so our roads are like ice skating rinks. Last year on the way to work, i stepped out of the house, slipped onto the first step and landed on the sidewalk! A couple of years ago, Ardmore fell on the icy walking to the mail box and couldn't get back up. A neighbor came by and helped him. He ended up in the emergency room and luckily didn't break any bones. He had a huge bruise on his left thigh to hip area which was very sore for a long time. I am praying that he does not fall when he walks into the church or has an driving accident.
I decided not to go to church. I do not want to fall and I know the parking lot is going to be treacherous. This is the type of weather I really dislike!
This past week I completed a couple of potholders for the Ya Ya Gang Holiday Happening sale. I want to do at least 5 more. I like to try different patterns. Here is a photo of three of them.

I am working on several different designs. Potholders give a person an opportunity to try a lot of different block patterns and decide which blocks they like best for a large quilt. Yesterday I received a call that Lance Bjorn's quilt is completed. I am so excited to see the finished product!
Yesterday theYa Ya Gang fried up about 250 flats of lefse. The Holiday Happenings sale will be at Skippy Finns' in Badger on November 19 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Lots of great things are available to purchase.
Decided to make pizza for Sunday dinner.
Pizza Dough
1/4 cup very warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pkg yeast
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, I use Penzey's Spices
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, I use Penzey's Spices.
1/2 cup or more water as needed
Place first three ingredients in a small bowl for about 20 minutes.
Mix all dry ingredient together in a medium bowl, add the oil and water, mix together and then add the yeast mixture. Add more water if necessary but you don't want the dough too sticky.
Turn out and knead on your counter until smooth, about 5 minutes. I did not add flour, when he was a little too sticky to knead I placed it back in the bowl to which I had added a little more olive oil, turned, put suran wrap over it and place it in the oven. I set my oven at 120 when I start and turn it off in about 2 or 3 minutes.

Let the dough raise until double. Spray your pan and spread the dough out. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of crust.

1 can petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, add a good pinch of Italian seasoning and blend in food processor until almost smooth.

Top with cooked meat of your choice, vegetables, olives, red and green peppers, etc. top this with mozzarella or a combination of cheeses.

Bake about 14 to 18 minutes at 400 degrees F. Enjoy!

Today I am thankful someone was willing to teach my Sunday School lesson. Thank you Kelly!
Think of the best thing that happened to you today, meditate about it, and put it in your memory bank. Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It is all about what we want to do!

Brian, James, and Ashley spent several days in Thailand! A friend of Brian's stopped to visit him a few weeks ago. He had previously asked Brian if he was interested in going to Thailand. At first, Brian didn't think he would but then ended up going. On Sunday, James an Ashley joined him.I will have them post some photos and tell about their trip. Perhaps they took a video and can include that too.

Brian left to return to LA after spending eight days here. He was busy most of the time he was here with workshops and doing makeup. He had planned to be here through Sunday but received a call to be on standby for a commercial which was cancelled.

It was a joy having him home. Last Saturday, he had a booth at Diva Days in the Roseau City Center, which was very successful with many sales. He has many clients who have taken his classes, sometimes more than once. They love his Makeover Cosmetic product line, as do I!
Last night it rained and so he is driving back to Grand Forks to fly out in icy conditions. Our deck windows are iced over and I am praying for rain so they clear off. There is a big storm that is suppose to come through. This is what brought the rain. Hopefully his trip is safe.

We have four little two month old kittens, cute as can be. I plan to have a person take them to the human society in the cities, but will put up a photo on Facebook, something on Craig's list, and a poster in the city center. Hopefully they will go to a good home. Our female cat has been spayed now, so our kitten worries are over.

 I hope three of these little ones will soon find a home. We plan to keep the brown one.

The Presidential election was held on Tuesday which ended with the reelection of Obama. I feel our country will soon be in a world of hurt, but those who voted for him will not be aware of it until it is too late. Romney is a wonderful man with high skills in business management. He is wealthy due to these skills. Apparently our many of our citizens do not understand that they work for big business, often one of the ones he started, such as Burger King, Staples, Domino Pizza. The sad thing about electing Obama is that almost immediately after the election several companies announced they would be laying off people soon. Boeing is one of these companies. Unemployment will soon be going back up. Many say it is because of the cost of Obama care. Could that really be true? If so, I am about to see an increase in my health insurance.

Someone made a comment to me about it will be wonderful when the troops come home and start the economy rolling again. I was surprised at this comment as so many of our military personnel are home and unemployed; adding more to this mix will not improve our economy. I do want to. See the troops come home, but we will still need a strong defense, without it, we open ourselves to terrorism and leave other countries without open to terrorism also. Romney's skills may not have been in those areas but he has many connections who would be great cabinet members. I need to stop writing about what has happened as it is a done deal now and we as a country must work under the Obama regime for another four years and pray for him, our congressional leaders, others who will be developing policy that they will make better decisions for our countries future. Number one: Get us out of debt!

Yesterday, the Ya-Ya Gang spent the day in the Rose Lutheran Church kitchen making lefse for the Holiday Happenings on the evening of November 19. Lots of fun cooking and having coffee and lunch together.

 One large ice cream scoop of dough makes a lefse round.

Roll it quite large and transfer to the griddle using the wooden stick laying on the left.

The best food was enjoyed by the group.

Lunch is a time to visit and rest from all our labors!

Use a large ice cream scoop for each lefse round and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.

Roll very carefully and quite thin.

Package the lefse in threes to a quart size Ziploc bag.

As you can see by the flour on their clothing, we were all very busy!

Wrapping the rolling pin with a special cloth allows you to use more flour for rolling. It also helps keep the lefse from sticking to the pan. 
Brush off extra flour prior to frying, do not grease the griddle.

When done top with some butter and sugar or sugar and cinnamon like this one. Roll up and enjoy!

Here are a couple of the lefse recipes we used:

LEFSE Micky Slater
3 cups cooked (add salt) and riced potatoes
After you have cooked them and while hot, add and mix in 3 TB oil and 2 small tsp sugar
Set aside to cool in refrigerator. When ready to fry the lefse, add 1 cup flour to potatoes and mix with a spoon. Roll out on floured, covered board. Fry at 500 degrees on lefse grill.

LEFSE Gwen Gross
8 LBS potatoes peeled, cooked and riced. While hot add 1 stick butter, ½ c cream, 1-2 TB sugar and 1 ½ TB salt. Mix well. Cool. When they are cool and ready to Roll them I measure 8 cups potatoes AND 1+1/2 CUPS OF FLOUR.
Roll out on floured lefse board and cook on hot ungreased lefse griddle.

It is very quiet now, no one but me in the house. Time to make some egg salad.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wind Power and the 2012 Presidential Election

I have found this election to be very disingenuous. On Tuesday night at the debate President Obama and Governor Romney sparred on several issues with Obama calling Romney a liar many times. One issue was wind energy.
Many people hear “wind energy” and they think of Iowa. Apparently, so do the candidates. The state’s role in wind energy production was mentioned by both Governor Romney and President Obama in Tuesdays night’s Presidential Debate.
“For example, with wind energy, when Governor Romney says these are phantom wind energy jobs, when you’ve got thousands of people right now in Iowa, right now in Colorado, who are working, creating wind power with good manufacturing jobs, and Gov. Romney says I’m opposed, get rid of it, that’s not an energy strategy or the future,” President Obama said during Tuesday’s debate.
Governor Romney responded Tuesday night, and said. “I don’t have a policy of stopping wind jobs in Iowa, and they’re not phantom jobs, they’re really jobs. I appreciate wind jobs in Iowa, and across our country. I appreciate the jobs in coal and oil and gas and I’m going to make sure we’re taking advantage of our energy resources.” (Krystle Kacner WHO-TV)
I believe wind power and solar power should be harnessed more in the United States. What I don't feel is necessary is the year after year tax credits. Tax credits offer a support system that causes too much industry dependence on government and this refers to the wind turbine industry also.
Nicholas Loris in the online Heritage Network article "Gone with the Wind" reiterates how I feel.
"Let’s take it back to 1992. The parents are watching Murphy Brown, the kids are watching Full House, and people are rockin’ out to Nirvana and Dr. Dre. (Some things never change.) And wind was ready to usher in a new era of energy production. In fact, Matthew Wald wrote in a 1992 New York Times article, “A New Era for Windmill Power,” that “striking improvements in technology, the commercial use of these windmills, or wind turbines as the builders call them, has shown that in addition to being pollution free, they can now compete with fossil fuels in the cost of producing electricity.”
He went on: “Kingsley E. Chatton, president of U.S. Windpower, which operates 22 new-generation windmills here, said the economics of wind power was at the point where it ‘will compete with fossil fuel.’ Others agree.”
Twenty years of subsidies later, wind only provide(d) a paltry 2.3 percent of America’s electricity in 2010, and it still needs subsidies." (
According to Laura DiMango in an article U.S. Wind Tower And Blade Manufacturers Face Uncertain Future that Supply-chain participants - especially wind turbine tower, blade and nacelle manufacturers - continue to experience financial troubles, which could have a negative ripple effect on the entire U.S. wind industry.
"For example, Illinois-based wind tower manufacturer Broadwind Energy just reported a $4.2 million loss for the second quarter. Although the loss was smaller than the $4.4 million one reported in the second quarter of last year, the company attributed its stronger operating results to its gearing and services segments and to lower operating expenses, rather than to the tower segment of its business, which has continued to hamper its earnings results."
After twenty years of subsidies, it seems wind energy companies should have figured out how to  be self reliant without subsidies and recognized that an end to subsides could come at any time. I am not against subsidies but believe there should be a requirement that companies work toward becoming solvent. I would think that by now the companies should have figured out how
to make them cost effective. The power companies, cities, and others
who purchase them or receive rent for having them on their property have benefited. They know their savings and should
understand the logic  that if they have wind energy, they should be the ones subsidizing turbine companies from their
By providing subsidies, the motivation to become more
innovative and discover ways that are more economical has grown stagnant
. We must be careful about how much we subsidize industries. Do we
provide subsidies that do not promote independence? In a time when our
country is in great debt, we must look at where things are. There must
be other ways industries, that receive subsidies, can become financially
solvent and should be striving for solvency.
One case that was recently discovered and is troublesome is that China and Vietnam have been illegally bringing much less expensive wind turbines into the U.S. under false pretenses. This causes an unfair playing field.These countries' pay scale is lower than the U.S.causing undue hardship on U.S. businesses.Let's be more proactive on the companies that illegally bring their products into our country.
The amount we subsidize is extensive as reported in the online article SUBSIDIZING BIG WIND: The Real Costs to Taxpayers by Robert Bryce, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
"Proponents of wind energy claim that the subsidy is needed so that
the wind industry has more time to mature. They also frequently cite the
number of jobs that may be lost if the tax credit is terminated.
Nevertheless, a look at the wind industry from four different
angles—direct subsidies, mandates, cost of jobs produced, and ongoing
exemptions from federal wildlife laws—shows that no other part of the
energy industry receives such preferential treatment.

  • On a per-unit-of-energy-produced basis, the PTC
    provides a subsidy to the wind industry that is at least 12 times
    greater than that provided to the oil and gas sector and 6.5 times
    greater than that provided to the nuclear industry.

  • More than two-thirds of the American population
    live in states that have mandated the use of renewable electricity, and
    those mandates are imposing significant costs on ratepayers.

  • If viewed solely as a job-saving measure, a one-year extension of the PTC will cost about $329,000 per job.

  • Despite numerous violations, the Obama
    administration—like the Bush administration before it—has unofficially
    exempted the wind industry from prosecution under the Eagle Protection
    and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts. If Congress extends the PTC, federal
    taxpayers will, in effect, be subsidizing the killing of federally
    protected birds

As I have said, if we provide the subsidies, make the companies
responsible to become self reliant. Our country is bleeding, we are
beginning to hemorrhage, industries and the people in our country need
to become self reliant and not government reliant.


I probably will need to do some editing on this after a friend reads it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Beautiful August 2012

It has been one of the nicest August's in memory, mainly in the upper 70s and 80s with some wind; although rain would be welcome. We haven't had any rain since the 6/10th on August 16th. The garden and the flowers have to be watered daily, some even two times a day.

It is enjoyable to be able to pick the tomatoes from our small garden. Small it is, too, only carrots, onions, four potato plants, four tomato plants, and some lettuce. This fall, after everything is removed, I am going to spray it with roundup to kill the grass, including the invading grass on the edges that continue to creep into the garden.Then we will also increase it by the same size. I would like to try some raspberry plants but don't know where to put them.

Today, the last row, the edge row was sewn around Lance Bjorn's quilt. It turned out so cute. Ashley will need to tell me if she wants it to have a lining or not.As of now, the plan was to put the backing on, it is a lime green plush material that could be fairly warm. The quilt is much larger that was first planned, about 58" including what is going to be turned.It will probably be about 56 when completed.Tomorrow the scissors will be clipping threads and preparing it for the backing.I will take a photo for the blog tomorrow.

The next project will be potholders for the Ya Ya Gang Christmas sale and for Christmas gifts.I came across some great patterns and am excited to try them.

Little Bjorn is so cute. Ashley takes wonderful photos and videos. Today she had some really cute ones of them at a beach and Bjorn decided to taste the sand. I am sure that was a bit gritty!

What is this stuff?

Feels different that my usual food.

Well, it sure tastes different too! Gritty!

I love being a grandmother and great-grandmother!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Minnesota Summer Day

It is summer salad time; my favorite type is fruit salads made from fresh fruit with orange juice. This morning I made this recipe:
1 peach, sliced
1 nectarine, sliced
1/4 cantaloupe, sliced and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
 2 kiwi, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 banana, cut into quarters and sliced
Mix together with 1/2 to 3/4 cup orange juice.
Serves four.

We attended Erin Lee and Ryan Murray wedding on Saturday afternoon. Erin was a lovely bride and they make a cute couple. It was so hot though, I went home and then on to the city center for the dinner at four. Ardmore went out and cut CRP after the wedding. I sat with Roxann and Don and some of the Lee family. Very nice and would have been a fun wedding if Ardmore would have come and we could have danced a bit. Good meal!

My turn to bake cookies for choir tomorrow. I wanted to make chocolate drop cookies and headed for Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook and found the best recipe. I did a little embellishment as I am a chocaholic.
I doubled this recipe.
Bake 350 degrees for 5 minutes, turn pan and bake additional 5 minutes, you know your own oven, do what you need to do!
2 one-ounce squares of unsweetened baking chocolate (I used choco bake, just set them in a cup of hot water to soften)
1/2 cup butter at room temp
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 tsp peppermint extract, I use Watkins
1/2 tsp chocolate extract, I used 1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecan pieces
1.5 cups of large dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Cream sugar and butter until smooth, add the baking soda and salt and beat, add the chocolate and beat, add the egg and beat, add the extracts and beat.Scrap bowl often.
Add half the flour and mix, add the sour cream and mix well, then add last of flour. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop with small ice cream scoop, but be generous. Makes about 3 dozen, depending how big you make them. 
You can also frost them with the following frosting, use a 4 cup measuring cup.
Microwave Chocolate Frostening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk or cream - mix it up
add 1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks.
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
Microwave one minute, stir to get the marshmallows melted, microwave until the marshmallow all dissolve.
Add 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips to the above and let set for about 30 seconds. Stir and pour over cookies as you desire. You can pour a little and go back and pour more later! I also used mint choco chips when I can find them, usually they are available at Christmas.

Incidentally, Joanne Fluke's cookbook has the greatest recipes and they are all from her mystery books. Have you read her books? If so, you know what I mean.

So what am I reading now? I finished all of Joanne Fluke's books and am waiting for the next one. Right now I have just started reading Minnesota author William Keith Krueger's first book, Iron Lake. I highly recommend it. His books were recommended by one of the guys from my class reunion. I can see I am already hooked! The best  thing is that this author is coming to our Roseau MN library soon!

Monday, July 16, 2012

50th Class Reunion and Retirement - June 30

I will finally complete this and place it on the blog! On Saturday, June 30th I attended my 50th class reunion. Now I don't know about you, but whenever I had heard someone was attending their 50th class reunion, my first thought was, "Oh my, they are getting up there!" I guess that must mean I am getting up there now too!

Aurora-Hoyt Lakes Class of 1962

I spent the past week at my brother's in Hoyt Lakes, which gave me an opportunity to spend some time with my brother and wife and a couple of friends. The reunion was very enjoyable. We had our gathering at The Lodge at Giant's Ridge. It is a choice place to stay, if you have family and plan for a midweek ski trip, they have 2 bedroom villas near the lake for $179 a night. When I was much younger, in my twentieths and thirties, I would take the kids skiing at the Ridge. The last time any of our children skied there would have been when I took Garrett, Eric, Terry and James a couple of times. The Lodge has great banquet and conference centers. Our group of around eighty had an ideal room, although the air conditioning could have been turned on a little more. The food was an excellent buffet.
We did a Class Up-date which was very enlightening. Great to discover what everyone has been doing and is now doing. I am looking forward to our 55th or 60th; will I still be around? I sure hope so and in good health.

I enjoy going to HL as we raised our children there and it brings back many memories. Times spent at the beach all summer until the kids were old enough to go on their own. Bicycle rides out to Fisherman's Point or the Partridge River, golfing at the golf course. I had my opportunity to see all of these places when in HL this past week. My brother took me on a tour of each of these areas, plus the new housing development on White Water Reservoir, and along the Colby Lake housing development and new assisted living housing.
I spent a couple of days visiting with friends. Toots and I spend one whole day together and our friend Barb joined us in the afternoon and then on Monday we went to Virginia to do some shopping and out for lunch. 

I hadn't been back for many years, my brother thought it was about five or six. I guess  visiting on the phone with Toots and my brother appears to make it seem like less time has past.Then my brother and wife come up once or twice a year.

It is interesting to hear how my friends and I are different and alike. We are all readers, but I am the only quilter. They watch soap operas still, I have watched soap operas since I was in my early twenties. Other than that, we picked up right where we left off, friends forever, with a thousand things to say to each other. Great fun!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I love my days off and know I am going to enjoy retirement. I am down to my final seven weeks, it has gone by so fast. I remember last summer. I was so ready to retire then but I needed to pay down my credit card. That said, I am almost to zero now! I wish I would have made my mind up to do this two years ago, but I have enjoyed spending on my family over the 15 years and now it is time to say, sorry, you will need to help me! Chuckle. Lets hope I never get into the type of a situation. I can't see it ever happening, thank goodness.

Today, being Saturday, we always have a nice breakfast together. this morning it was vegy omelet, toast ...

  and Skinny Hummingbird cupcakes, well they really are more like a muffins.

The muffins/cupcakes were something I made on Thursday. I was home for the day and decided to call my visiting teachers to come visit after I had made them. As an after thought I invited them to lunch. We had a wonderful visit. I made a macaroni chicken salad and we sat out on the deck, it was about 75 that day. Amazingly beautiful and we had a very enjoyable visit plus some spiritual thoughts along with it.

I took out the cupcakes for dessert. They were a wonderful hit, I was so happy that it made 23! We could take more than one if we wanted; and we did.

Here is the recipe and the info about the recipe:

"These scrumptious hummingbird cupcakes are super moist and light, full of pineapple, chopped bananas, pecans, cinnamon and spices topped off with a sweet cream cheese frosting.
Hummingbird cake first appeared in Southern Living Magazine back in 1978, originally submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina and is known to have won numerous blue ribbons at county fairs. This skinny version does not disappoint! The flavors are reminiscent of a carrot cake, without the carrots and make the perfect Mother's Day dessert!

Skinny Hummingbird Cupcakes 

 22 • Serving Size:  1 cupcake  • Old Points:  4 pts  • Points+:  5 pts Calories: 197.8 • Fat: 6.5 g • Carb: 31.1 g • Fiber: 1.7 g • Sugar: 21.7 g Sodium: 284.2 mg

Ingredients: I made some changes - Enjoy!
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour),1 cup sugar (I used raw), 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg fresh grated, 1/4 tsp ground ginger (I used ½ tsp Chinese 5 spice instead of ginner), 2 tbsp oil, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (I used 2 large bananas she had just purchased that day), 20 oz can crushed pineapple in juice, drained well, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup grated carrots.
For the Frosting:
  • 8 oz 1/3-less fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 22 pecan halves - didn’t use on top.
To prepare frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter and vanilla, add powdered sugar, beat until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices; stir well with a whisk (I used a mixer from start to finish).
In a medium bowl, combine oil, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Add banana, pineapple and carrots.; mix well. Fold wet ingredients and chopped pecans with the dry ingredients, batter will be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together.
Spoon batter into cupcake tin. Bake at 350° for about 23 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Spread frosting over the cupcakes once they are cooled. Garnish each cupcake with a pecan half on top if you want.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lots of satisfying work completed

It is finally time to rest and recouperate for tomorrow! I feel like I accomplished many things but realize that I actually only accomplished the major things, mowing the lawn, working on the information for the upcoming board meeting, and finishing a section of the Minnesota History Contest.  I am ready for a good night's sleep.
This past week and a half I have been sick with what I call a childhood problem, ear infections. I also have a sinus infection. It came as quite a surprise to hear the doctor say ear infection on Monday. He put me on a Zpak and I am feeling much better now. Not coughing so much either. It was not a good time to get sick but after all that has gone on the past three weeks, I am not surprised I ended up sick.
We had our annual meeting on April 20th at the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Badger. Wonderful program from Minnesota folk singer and story teller, John Berquist. I highly recommend him to anyone. He entertains! He also did artist-in-residence programs in Badger, Roseau and Warroad. I am impressed with how versitile he is. He taught folk dancing to the Roseau second graders, worked with the Jr and Sr. high choirs in Warroad and on Friday spent two sessions with the elementary children in Badger, teaching them about the insturments he uses in his repritore. He was well worth the $2,000 grant we received to have him here.

Badger Students with John Berquist
Well this has taken way longer than I thought so it is definitely time to go to sleep! Night all!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Empty House

We have never had family come to visit consecutively like these last three and a half weeks were.
It was such fun and work!! Now I need to get busy and clean the house!

Today I drove James, Ashley and Lance down to Fargo to "hopefully" catch an Allegiant Air flight to LA. We were so happy to find out that they were able to get on the plane!
They fly standby and when they planned to come on AA from LA the plane only had one seat left and of course they wanted to all go together. It took them two days of finagling to get to Fargo. A week later we had Lanced blessed at church. We do not believe little children need to be baptized until they are eight and only bless them after birth. It was a great experience for us, one of the few times we have been able to be there when a grandchild was blessed and we have missed one baptism.
Lance's blessing - April 8c, 2012.    
Grandpa and Grandma, James and Ashley

Ashley and Lance

James and Lance

James, Ashley and Lance

I am too tired to finish this tonight so will add more tomorrow.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Three Weeks of Company

It has been a very busy three weeks. Brian arrived to visit and do some Makeover Workshops with his cosmetic line, Workshop Cosmetics. He did two workshops in Roseau, one at From Head to Toe and at Sublime. Then the second week he presented classes at cosmetology school in Bemidji, two in Minneapolis and one in Fargo. It was wonderful to have him and hard to see him leave.

James and Ashley finally received Lances passport. they flew from Taiwan to Hong Kong then on to LA last Friday. After some maneuvering they were able to catch flights from LA to Chicago and from there to Fargo.
 I am looking forward to visiting our children and grandchildren after I retire.

Little Lance is a delight. It is so surprising to see his fair skin and blue eyes. Ashley said he was the only baby in the nursery with blue eyes and fair skin among all the Taiwanese babies.Must be something in the genes. The first night he slept with me so they could sleep through the night undisturbed, although they both woke up at 5:30 am when he woke up.

Lance will be blessed at Church on Sunday. I am so pleased to see we have that opportunity. We have not been there when any of Michelle's children were blessed.

When they get up to feed him in the morning, I also get up.
Grandma and Lance playing at 7:30 this morning.

Lance and I.

Lance started cooing recently so here he is talking to me!
This is the week that Michelle sends in several of her credential papers for her student teaching. She said it has been a very challenging month and she had to tell the music students she teaches that she was going to take the month off. She said it was so nice to be able to focus on the classes.

She is student teaching 5-6 beginning band and advance band. She has found this to be very enjoyable with much challenges with the beginning students. It has been a learning situation, to say the least.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Woman 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all you who are Irish and all those who take that claim today!

Here we are thirteen days after the 2012 One Woman event, one would think things would slow down for a while after we do something like that, but no, it doesn't. But the focus for today's blog will be on those special women in Roseau County who give so much to improve their communities and help others.
The twelve women, from all walks of life, included a store owner, teachers, a county fair treasurer, and a county fair office secretary. This years recipients are Eva Gregerson-Badger, Veronica Novacek-Barto, Sylvia Lisell-Falun, Dianne Churchill-Greenbush, Rose Strandlund-Jadis, Esther Sandstrom-Malung, Elvera Kvarnlov-Moranville, Irene Olson-Roseau, Jeanette Erickson-Ross, Sylvia Kukowski-Skagen, Addie Streiff-Unorganized, and Sunny Wilmer-Warroad. It has been so enjoyable to see the things these women do for their communities. Sometimes it has been utterly amazing! We talk about super moms, these are definitely some super women!

Roseau County Commissioner Glenda Phillipe cut the ribbon. We joking visited about how when I was doing a program in Warroad one noon, we had decided to have lunch together and I forgot. She jokingly accused me of "standing her up!" She is a jewel and we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated individual as a county commissioner.
Here are some of the photos of the day.

Over 160 family members and friends attended the exhibit
 ribbon cutting and program for the 2012 One Women event.
Dawn Johnson and Linda Vatnsdal were the coordinators
and program organizers.

Lloyd and Sunny Wilmer, Warroad 2012 One Woman; 
Carole Wilson, program coordinator
is pinning on her name tag.

Elvera Kvarnlov-Moranville is looking
at the 2012 One Woman exhibits.

Jeanette Erickson, Ross 2012 One Woman and her family

Charleen Haugen and Sunny Wilmer

Board members, Lola Grafstrom, Helen Wagner, Harriet Heinen with Harriet's granddaughter, Olivia
City of  Roseau One Woman, Irene Olson, husband Joel, and daughter Nancy Anacabe.

Jeanette Erickson, daughter Carmen P. and great-grandson.

Rose Strandlund, Jadis Township 2012 One Woman and daughter Debra.

Beverly Torkelson, her mother, Eva Gregeson - City of Badger 2012 One Woman and daughter Jan Wollin.

Marie Kompelien, Museum Research Center Specialist

ReNae Lisell Vagle in front of her mother's  and aunt Esther's exhibit.
Esther's husband Roger is standing with ReNae.

Sylvia Kukowski, Skage Township One Woman, is so deserving. Her husband died when their children were young and she raised them herself. Milked cows and did so much hard work.
 Sylvia's family gave some wonderful compliments to their
mother; so great stories too!

 Several musical selections were performed by the Guttorumson's.