Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Happy Independence Day.


I like that better than “Fourth of July,” because it reminds us that it’s not just about fireworks and picnics, but about our wonderful freedoms that people fought so hard to attain.

Some yard decorations from someone lacking a green thumb:

No matter how you plan to spend the day, take a moment to think of America’s great fortune, and how we all got here.

Happy Independence Day!


Well, That Happened.


I spent a lot of time writing about this incident earlier, but then figured what the heck, nobody needs all the gory details. In short, here’s what happened: On Saturday, January 21, I was leaving a downtown restaurant with my sisters after lunch. Walking to our cars and saying goodbye on that sunny and nearly iceless day, I managed to slip on some black ice in the parking lot and went down like a sack of potatoes, breaking my left hip. I actually didn’t know it was broken until I tried to stand up. Yikes!
All Minnesotans know we’re supposed to do the penguin shuffle in the winter, especially the elderly and feeble. (People like me.) It just wasn’t that kind of day, and I was SO close to my car, and we were laughing and saying goodbye and going on to our own errands, and suddenly I was down. Just like that.

“I’m calling an ambulance,” one of my sisters said. I thought “Geez, that’s sort of dramatic and probably not necessary.”  I thought this for about 5 seconds, during which time I tried to stand up, and finally said “Call and ambulance!” A firetruck arrived first for a lift assist, but when they realized that it was more than just an old lady falling, the ambulance arrived. I was taken to a local hospital where I was put on an IV and pain medications, probably to lessen the tragic moment when they had to use scissors to cut off my favorite best-fitting pair of jeans. Boo hoo.

Surgery was on Sunday morning, though I remember very little of that. I remember being wheeled down to a waiting room with one nurse in attendance, and then I remember waking up in my room. My sisters were there, and the surgeon, and a nurse, and I think I told everyone I had had a hysterectomy 2 years ago, which was part of the brain fog I was experiencing, as in fact that other thing happened some 28 years ago. I can only imagine what else I said.

I was in the hospital for several days and then moved to Ecumen Lakeshore, where I was in rehab for 3 weeks. If you have to go anywhere for physical rehabilitation, try to get into Ecumen Lakeshore. The people are wonderful, the therapists are relentless (which is why I’m walking with only a cane right now) and the food is often very good. With one surly exception, the aides were kind and funny and patient and helpful.

But there’s no place like home, is there, Dorothy? I missed my cats and my own bed and my own things and everything about my pre-fall life. I was happy to return home, where my sisters had taken care of the house and cats and mail and all small details, and who took care of me as I resumed my “normal” life.

Today I’m walking with a cane, still in therapy, and have one leg shorter than the other by 1″. The surgeon says 6 months to 1 year to full recovery, and I was hoping that wouldn’t be true, but it looks like it might. I see a physical therapist twice a week and am progressing more slowly than I’d like, but I’m sticking with it. Having never been an exercise person, my advice to the world in general is “lose weight and get in shape before you fall, not after.” It’s good advice. Wish I’d have followed it myself.

So life moves along, and in time I hope to be doing all the things I did before, except faster than I’m doing them today. Lots of changes in my life, like giving up lawn mowing (seriously not a hardship) and being unable to get off the floor in the unlikely chance I find myself there, or getting into a bathtub for a bubble bath as I did all the time pre-fall. (I will get there, though: It is my goal.)

Now that I’m spending quite a lot of time on my ever-widening arse, I expect I’ll have time to write more. (Stop me if you’ve heard this before.) I thank my few faithful readers for sticking around, and I promise to do better.

All 10 fingers are still working.

Be careful out there!

July 21 Storm in Duluth.


It is hard for me to imagine the power of a mere wind storm, but those of us who saw the one in Duluth on July 21 this year probably have a new appreciation for Mother Nature. Horrific damage was done to many parts of town; Woodland and Hartley Field most especially.

I try to imagine what it must have been like for the folks driving home at that hour of the early morning, perhaps from partying or from a night shift at work, and trying to avoid the trees that were falling over like matchsticks. I wonder, too, about the animals who must have been frightened (to death?) of the devastation. Deer, bears, skunks, raccoons, birds, snakes… what did they make of the noise that sounded like the end of the world?

I took these photos at a local cemetery. Trees were uprooted and pulled out of the ground as if they’d been plucked out like a simple flower. Many cemetery roads were closed while workers cleared the fallen trees, and many tombstones had been knocked over  by powerful winds, or hidden under debris.



cemetery4Closer to home, many neighbors on my street suffered huge losses to their property, while our power was out for nearly 3 days. Not as bad as some in town, who went a week without electricity. Not an easy task. I am grateful to helpful neighbors who used a generator to clear trees on the block, and who brought me a thermos of hot coffee one morning. Lovely!

These were taken on my block:




Much closer to home, Asn my own back yard, two trees behind my garage. My handy neighbor came out with a generator and a chain saw, and made light work of them. One landed on his aluminum boat and caused a rather large dent, and the other was a spruce tree that I loved simply for its wonderful scent. Boo hoo. A tiny problem compared to others.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAside from some of Woodland Avenue and much of Hartley Field and Nature Reserve, much of the cleanup has been completed. Life goes on.

Okay: Life Box.


My sisters winced at the notion of a “Death Box,” so I’m calling the Life Box, which is probably more appropriate. And speaking of appropriate, I found this wonderful box at Michael’s, and it was even on sale. I think it’s perfect.

Recipe Giveaway.


Little gets my heart going as much as old recipe collections at auctions. (Well, there’s Cowboy Dave, also at auctions, but that’s a whole other story.) I’ve collected bunches of them, kept some that I might actually use, but the rest are up for grabs.

They’re lots of fun to read. Some have been used so often they’re barely legible. Some have handwritten notes in the margin. (Use less butter! Henry loves these, etc.)

If you’d like to have some of them, drop me a note and I’ll stuff an envelope for you. I can’t throw them out, can’t send them to Goodwill, but would love to share them with people who would appreciate them as much as I.

Leave a note here, or send an Email:, and I’ll send ’em out until they’re all gone. Watch your mailbox!

Behold The Tig.


I think Mittens and I were both missing our old cat Winston, who died of myriad health issues last April. Over the Memorial Day holiday, I went to Animal Allies and found “Curious George,” now named “Tigger,” which is much easier to yell when he is running through the house with your car keys.

Tigger is 2 years old, and if the Terrible Twos happen with children, it’s possible they happen with cats, too. Though affectionate and silly and mostly good mannered, Tigger is a thief of all things not nailed down. Pens, nail files, keys, coins, bottle caps, forks, combs. If it’s movable, it’s stealable!

Here is a quick photo of Mittens and Tig getting to know each other, a process which took nearly 8 weeks and is still touch-and-go. Mostly he runs after her to touch her tail, and she goes beserk.

Fascinated by sinks and toilets, especially as they flush, Tigger is always there whether you need him or not. “Curious” was a perfect name for him, because if a drawer is open, he’s in it. If the cabinets are open, he’s so there. If you are getting dressed, he’s literally there, hanging on to your clothing. Changing the sheets? Tig’s there. Wrapping a present? Tig’s there.

But he’s not always going to be two, and so we are patient and amused and enter into play as much as possible, knowing that someday he’ll be old and fat and somewhat lazy, though still lovable.

Tig believes in the power of a good nap, and takes about 10 of them a day. When he’s played out and the late-evening crazies have gone quiet, he gets in my lap, rubs his face against mine, and falls asleep in my arms.

What more could a person ask? The shelter’s full of cats and kittens and dogs and puppies who need good homes. Go get one!

Again With The Gorilla.


In the name of all that is holy, can someone explain to me how a 3 year old child somehow got into a gorilla space at a zoo and had to be rescued by way of not tranquilizing the gorilla, but KILLING him?

Didn’t we learn this lesson a few years ago when another child had to be rescued from a gorilla area? And honestly, do we need to be taught that a child and a gorilla may not be a good mix? I don’t even have kids, and I think I could figure that out.

So the gorilla does what gorillas do, and for that he is killed.

How stupid are these parents? Were they even there? If you bring your kids to the zoo and see that there are wild animals within reach (and why are they so accessible, is another good question) might you not put down your cell phone and keep an eye on your child?

Yes, maybe it’s time we got rid of zoos and let the endangered species live their lives for as long as they’re able. A better idea would be to know where your child is at all times, or at least long enough to make sure that he doesn’t have time to climb into the gorilla area. Or keep your kids at home if you think you aren’t capable of keeping them out of harm’s way. Get a good babysitter and take some parenting classes, fer chrissakes.

On the news tonight, the “parents” (and I use the term loosely in this case) were happy to report that the child is home and doing very well.

The same could not be said for the gorilla.

Fried Modem.


Duluth woman survives 10 days without internet access.



Not Waving But Drowning.



(At least momentarily drowning.)

I haven’t forgotten you, Dear Blog and Readers, but so many things are going on and sometimes it’s hard for me to put them in words, much as I hope to do so.

A dear long-time friend is dying. I’m working more than I’d planned, which takes up time. I’m considering moving to an apartment. My beloved house (which is the biggest concern of whether to move or not; the “beloved” part) is getting to be a lot of work. I’m downsizing at home, getting rid of stuff I’ve had for years but don’t really need.

You know: the stuff of life. It takes up time and energy.

But I will be back. Soon.


Oh, Those Funny Japanese.


I’ve had this kitchen trivet since the late 1960s. It seems to get funnier every year. You gotta love it.