Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Baby!

My cousin and his wife had a baby yesterday!  He was born the afternoon of June 29 one day past his due date.  This child is the first great grandchild born on either side of my family and I think he is the first on my cousins' mom's side as well.  His name is Grayson Michael.  There is a pattern of naming that has come to pass in the family, and I'm not sure when it became intentional of if it is intentional at all.  My Grandpa's initials are GMS (Glenn Milo), my uncle's are as well, (Gale Matthew), and my cousin's as well (Greg Michael).  And now there is Grayson Michael!  Very neat!  

I have seen a few pictures via text and Facebook.  That is where I snagged this photo of Aunt Kara with the baby!  Cute!

Oh, it is also our 4th Anniversary today!

 I think I was at the hair salon at this time 4 years ago.  It was a nice summer day with warm temps and a light breeze as opposed to a hot blast furnace wind like there is today.

The tradtional gift for a 4th anniversary is fruit or flowers.  FYI favorite fruits are oranges and cantaloupe, already sliced with the seeds and peels discarded!  Although any fruit will be acceptable.  I like it all. 

Monday, June 27, 2011


This is going to a quick post to tell you that I just started another blog (yeah, I know, I am a fiend for this stuff!).  It is called Ancestry Adventures and it is going to be a way for me to share information that I learn from my membership.  If you are not related to me you probably won't care so ignore it if you wish!  If you are related to me, feel free to pass on the site to anyone in your family who doesn't follow this blog.  The new blog is...

I set it to a private setting so it can't be found through search engines so I don't feel weird about sharing names and personal information.  Enjoy!

Don't worry, I will not abandon this blog. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vegas Preview

So...I still don't have it together enough to do a post about the Las Vegas trip.  We started doing summer hours at work so we can start at 7 am and leave at 4 during the week and then on Friday we can leave at 11 am or noon.  Last week was the first week of summer hours and I was gone on Friday so I didn't get to enjoy the afternoon of pre-weekend freedom.  It will be very nice.  It also means that I have been waking up at 5:30 to go and stare at a screen for 9 hours every day and spending alot of time on the Internet is not what I feel like doing when I get home. 

But...I have to urge to share pictures of Vegas.  I miss it.  I miss the hot weather and how smooth and frizz free my hair gets when there is 0% humidity.  I just love being on vacation!  So I will share one picture...

Our nephews Blake and Dylan love Mario and Luigi from Nintendo games.  I saw these guys, among other wacky characters, along Las Vegas Blvd. waiting for tourists to pose with them.  I took this picture so I could show Blake and Dylan that I met their friends!  Blake, especially, LOVES Luigi.  I better mention that those fanny packs had "TIPS" scrawled on them so no one would try to take advantage!  I didn't mind...I thought they earned a dollar bill for standing in 90 degree weather in those plush suits!  YUCK!

Keep checking for more Vegas pics!  Also, I will be in Bismarck this weekend so I will get to see the garden and flowers I planted a month ago.  I can't wait!  I really miss being home right now!

Speaking of home, I cannot stop thinking about what is unfolding in Minot, ND, as I write this.  All day at work I would check the news to see what was happening there and the news about evacuations and mass quantities of water to powerful to be stopped just kept getting worse.  This is going to be a very challenging summer for Western and Central ND.  It is so crazy and nothing like this has been seen ever (well, unless you trace geology and such back through time to prehistory).  When there is a river flood, people always say that anyone who builds a house near a river should expect flooding.  But the SOURIS RIVER?  It is a little muddy trickle!  Living by that thing is like living by the North Branch of the Goose River/Rose Creek that runs by my parents house!  No one would ever imagine such a deluge from that river.  What a disaster. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to Reality

We made it back from Vegas last night and I will post about it later but not today...I still need to see all the pictures from our various cameras and get some sleep!  I was kind of off kilter from the time zone switch last night and hardly slept.  Then I had to stare at a computer screen for 9 hours at work this morning.

I will share a short story about Allan...he has been gaining weight lately!  Since he first came to our house his food has come from an automatic feeder so he has been able to eat whever he feels compelled.  Justin recently bought him a timed food dispenser that only feeds him a few times a day!  Poor kitten!  He had the feeder set to dispense at 6:00 and waited nearby to watch what happened when the food came out.  As soon the sound of the food dispensing was heard he came running like a fiend!  

He is irritated but don't worry about him!  He still gets plenty of food!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Furniture!

Recently, my aunt and uncle sold their big two story house to move into a one story condo (with as much square footage as the two story!) and decided to pass on their dining room set.  The set used to belong to my great grandparents so they wanted to keep it in the family.  The brand or design, or whatever you call it, is Duncan Phyfe. Duncan Phyfe was an American furniture designer who passed away in the 1850s.  He was one of the first furniture makers to mass produce furniture in his workshop in New York City.  By mass produce I mean that he had a factory that employed about 100 people!  He combined simple designs with classical elements such as lyres and claw feet and his name became synonymous with a whole style of furniture such as the new set in my possession! 

I was excited to have this set passed on to me.  It not only includes the dining room table and chairs, but also the china cabinet and buffet.  Unfortunately, it is being stored for now because I don't have a dinign room in my house! 

Here is the cabinet.  I cannot wait to have my bright colored Fiestaware and Lenox Mediterra dishes behind that glass!

This is the buffet.  It has a lined drawer for fancy silverware!
The chairs have lyre ornaments on the backs, which are a typical Duncan Phyfe feature.  The chair seats are worn but I can easily fix that with some new fabric! 

On another topic, I will be away for a few days because I am going to Las Vegas!  I cannot wait to feel that hot desert air!  It is so dry there that my hair goes straight and it feels so good!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Grandma P's Birthday!

My Grandma Phyllis's 80th birthday was yesterday.  It is hard to believe because she seems much younger than 80.  She always looks and acts the same which is so reassuring!  

This is the first photo of her that I know of, and I am not sure how old she is or why it was taken.  It doesn't look like a school headshot because it is off center and she appears to be wearing a winter coat!  It is very cute, regardless of that haircut!  I don't think their family had money to spend on salon visits for each child!
Grandma is the girl on the left in this picture and the other is her of them...I think it was Gloria...or Anita...or Geraldine...
Here is another one of those eleagant 1950's headshots!  Grandma graduated from high school in Stephen, MN.  As a teenager she lived with an aunt and uncle and helped take care of her young cousins.  I think it is very interesting how many people in those days had living arrangements that would be hard to imagine today.  My Grandpa Glenn also lived as a boarder during high school because it was difficult to make the trip to school in the winter. 

This picture is so cute!  What kills me is that her teeth appear to be perfectly straight and I know there was no orthodontia!  That elusive straight teeth gene has been long lost in my family...
Ooooh...this is the only known photo of the whole family together.  The quality is not great because it was scanned from a scan.  The kids order of age...Russell, Norma, Phyllis, Gloria, Anita, Geraldine, Donald, Dennis, Patsy, Joy, Sandra, Karen, John, and Barry!  WHEW!  Grandma is the one to the right of Russel in the back row. 

This family really had to come together in 1955, when their mom, Margaret, died unexpectedly.  Grandma and her sisters all pitched in and helped raise the younger kids.  My grandparents were just married when this happened and her brother Donny lived with them until he finished high school. 
This photo is from a girls road trip Grandma took with some friends one summer after they finished high school.  I love to imagine them giggling and being silly just as I would act on such a trip.  There are many photos of roadside picnics and silly antics at landmarks from this trip!  I love that Northern MN flatness!  Grandma was not able to attend college, although she was a working woman for years.  In addition to her childcare duties, she worked as a waitress at a relatives resort, a cook at a large farm, and a mail room clerk at a department store in Minneapolis.  I remember her working at the local bank when I was younger, back when bank workers wore matching uniforms that changed with the seasons!  She met my grandfather when she was working at a restaurant her parents owned.  He was a teacher at the city high school. 
They were married in July of 1954 and stayed married until my grandfather, Harold, died in March of 2006.  They had a happy life together.  They had 5 children...Steve, Cindy (mother!), Kris, Tim, and Jenny.  
Family legend tells of how all of children were really fat as babies, and with each 10 pounder grandma got was like they were little parasites or something!  Haha...just kidding!  This series of photos documents this phenomenon...the photo above is Steve...
I love the 1950's furnishings in the house! 
Three beefy babies down...two more to go!  The little girl is my mom.  I just saw shoes like those in a fashion magazine...very nice!
That is my great grandfather Norris...not sure who the baby is...there is the rolled pants look again, similar to what my other grandma wore in many of her pictures.  It is hard to see, but Norris has a cigarette between his fingers.  You can see it better in another photo.  Such behavior would be so unthinkable now!  It makes me laugh!

There is the whole family in the always eleagant and glamourous 1970s. 

And again in 1980 and the wedding of my parents.
And there I am...the first grandchild!  She has 8 grandhildren now. 
I love a good four generation photo!  I look forward to posing for this type of picture with my mom and Phyllis in the future!

This was taken on Easter in the 90's sometime...I appologize to anyone picture here who might be embarassed!  It looks like my brother got a new basketball...
And so we arrive in the present...This was our family's most recent wedding in 2010, when my cousin Katie got married.  What a full life!  Which more to be lived!

We are going to Las Vegas in a few days to celebrate both of the grandmas' birthdays.  We had a reception after church for Grandma in MN over the weekend.

I imagine the summer day when she was born in 1931.  People born in those days really saw so much about life change.  It fascinates me. 

Here are a few of us cousins and my mom posing with Grandma!  I wish more of our family could have been there!  After church we drove to a nearby lake resort for lunch and on the way home drove by the first house my grandparents lived in after they were married.  It looked...rundown.  Ok, it looked like it could have been on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, complete with peeling paint, decaying shingles, car parts and debris scattered around the yard and the rough tenants standing outside smoking in white underwear shirts.  She didn't seemed to mind though and laughed at the whole scene!  That street used to be very nice and the high school superintendant lived nearby.  The high school was a few blocks away and I imagined my grandpa walking to and from work. 

Happy birthday Grandma! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grandma D's 80!

Both of my grandmothers turn 80 this year.  Even more coincidental, they were born within days of each other.  They also got married the same year (1954) within weeks of each other.  They both came from large families and grew up on farms.  They never met until my parents got married but they sure have a lot in common!  My grandma Dorothy's birthday was yesterday so she gets the first post.  

This is a famous family photo because it is the first known photo of Dorothy!  She was the 6th child of 7 and this was a school photograph from when she was in 1st grade.  As she grew up her hair was dark brown so it is strange to see her as a blonde!  Also, she is unusual in our family because she has dark brown eyes.  All three of her children and all nine grandchildren have blue eyes.  I guess they are not that recessive... a random interesting fact that connects us...when she was 10 Grandma had to have her appendix removed like I did in 2007.  I was in the hospital for one night.  She had to stay in the hospital for 10 days! 

This is so cute...the little girl is my dad's older cousin.  Dorothy was an aunt when she was young. 

I imagine this was a high school photo.  I love that neclace.  Old headshots like this are so glamourous compared to the outlandish Senior portraits that are customary now.

I don't know where this was taken but I think it is a neat photo!  I love the little kerchief she is wearing around her neck!  That rolled pants look is common in older photos of both of the grandmothers.  Very cute. 

That is Grandma and her brother.  I am not sure which one, unfortunately!  I like that dress and the shoes as well. 

Another silly mystery photo! 

 Wedding day!  My grandparents had a lovely 1950's wedding, complete with the luxury of a professional photographer. 

This photo makes me laugh because it really gives you a feel for Grandma's outgoing personality!  She has always enjoyed performing.  She has acted in many community theatre productions and sang in the choir at church for years.  She has a low alto voice, just like me!  She also taught herself to play piano, and was always fascinated by how I could play classical tunes with complicated runs of notes.  She never mastered those techniques because she learned from playing music from hymnals. 

Oh...then there was this famous performance that was widely publicized!  It was a parade act to commemorate a centennial celebration in the 80's.  Grandma is in middle. 

 Awwww...there are the grandchildren!  That is me in Grandma's lap, Kara in the middle, and Greg on the right.  Greg and I match!  So cute!  Haha.  And...the first great grandchild will be arriving any day now!  Greg and his wife Lindsay are expecting a boy!

Grandma was very excited for our wedding and unfortunately discovered that she had cancer in the months preceding it.  Fortunately, the cancer is in remission and it has been almost four years!  She had to miss my family bridal shower because she was in the hospital and it was really sad for everyone.  She was very glad to be able to attend the wedding and she came to the rehearsal at church and I remember her sitting in a pew toward the back, quietly crying just from seeing us go through the motions!  It was very sweet.  Since then (2007) she has seen three more grandchildren get married, three graduate from college, one graduate from grad school, and two graduate from high school.  You know, I can't even keep track of what all of us have done and when it happened...sorry if I missed anyone! 

The grandsons, Greg and Pete the bean pole!

The coindidentally color coordinated granddaughters!

Happy 80th Grandma!  80 years is a long time!  I will remember you for being generous and for letting us grandchildren get away with alot of nonsense!  Also, I will remember staying at your house as a teenager when I had to stay home from a family trip because of my job and you let me stay up late and we would buy ice cream treats every night and watch late night TV!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Fat Boy!

It is my little buddy's birthday today!  Allan is two years old.  We know his birthday because he was born at the Humane Society.  I am sad because he is alone today...Justin is gone overnight and I am in Fargo.  Poor kitten!  I know he doesn't know it is his birthday anyway but stil...!

He is such a chubby kitten!  He always gets into my business when I am working on a sewing project!

Mr. Roly Poly!

I tool this photo last year on his birthday with that stupid little hat that he hated.  This picture was a lucky shot because that hat didn't stay on his head for more than two seconds at a time! 

What a nice summer day it was almost impossible!  The city pools are opened now and I heard people around my office building talking to their kids on the phone at breaks reminding them about what they had to do before they went to the pool.  I used to work as a lifeguard and I still feel nostalgic for those days even though dealing with all those kids and complaining parents every day used to drive me crazy.  What could be better than working outside all day and being able to swim all the time?  Not to mention, all my co-workers were also my peers, fellow high school and college students, and we carried on and acted like ourselves without a worry about being professional or our future career goals. Ahhh, I am afraid that summer will never be the same and I wish I appreciated it more when I was living those carefree, friend filled days! 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summer Scenes

If you drive into the country it seems like lilacs are blooming everywhere!  I love them.  I love how they smell so good and the different shades of purple are so beautiful.  At my parents' house there is a big row of lilac bushes that I was able to enjoy over the weekend. 

The only drawback of this foliage is that it is infested with bees.  I understand, I guess...if I were a bee I wouldn't be able to resist those flowers either!  

 That is quite a row!  Most of the individual bushes in the row have purple flowers in two different shades, but...

There are a few oddballs in there that have white blooms!  They smell just as nice!

Since the weather has been horrendously crappy throughout the months of April and May the spring planting season has been very delayed but it is finally underway. 

 That is one long planter!  It has three sections.  The one I remember only had two.  Farm machinery gets larger all the time!  That is Justin in the picture. 

Pete and Justin are filling my dad in on their progress.

Here is a photo of the pillow I made to match my mom's quilt!  I love it!  It is very well done, I have to say! 

I don't know what my next sewing project will be.  I am not going to jump into anything else right away because it seems wrong to be sitting in the basement sewing in the evenings when I could be enjoying the precious days of summer!