Monday, January 15, 2018

It's a new year!

It's a new year.
New goals.
New dreams.
New ideas.
New plans.

Renewed optimism. To. Blog.

You readers faithfully keep popping back here to check if there is anything new and alas .... the slate is completely blank.

I really can't figure it out.
How the dickens can it be busier now than at most other points in my life?
How can there not be time to sit quietly and share what I'm up to?

Maybe because it is taking longer to get to things.
The many things I'm getting to are taking longer to get done.
I'm working more which is a huge time taker.

And we're out having fun.
Working hard so we can play hard.
Something like that.

So the new year comes with a goal to see if I can do this again.
If by the end of the year it hasn't worked out ... I'll bid this stage of my life goodbye and move on!

Did I say we've been playing?
I thought about trying to figure out how many air miles we logged this year collectively.
Sounds like way too much work.
It was many.

One of those very special weekends happened in October.
My dear dad turned 80 and we jetted off to Minnesota for the weekend.
(It happens to be a frequent destination for us by the way.)

After spending the night in the cities (surprise of red carpet treatment!!) we had breakfast in Howard Lake. Ran into someone we hadn't seen for years. Like many umpteen years! On to Litchfield to have coffee with Mummu and Pappa. Oh but these visits are precious. Often short but so precious.

Coffee was drank and we hit the road again. Next stop: Park Rapids to have a hospital visit with my dear godparents, Harry & Audrey. Harry was determined to get home in the next few days as he wanted to spend his 90th birthday at home! Can't blame him!

We spent the night in Menahga and then put some more miles on the next morning. Headed to my home stomping ground on the Iron Range.

This picture is sort of my life. The leaves in the southern part of the state were so awe inspiring that one couldn't do anything but look out the car window and soak it all in. The trees up north were a bit more bare ... but golden nonetheless with splashes of white whizzing by.

We combined a Haapaniemi reunion with dad's 80th birthday. There hasn't ever been such a reunion and it was fun to put pieces of the family tree together. Fun to see people I hadn't seen for a very long time. Fun to fill in the spaces with little known facts. Sadly, there were many missing. The ones that were there enjoyed reconnecting.

Our parents have honored each child's 40th birthday with 40 gifts. We sort of figured it would be fitting to celebrate this one with 80 gifts! Some useful, some edible, some cash etc. Was fun! Old friends and neighbors were invited to the birthday part of the bash. Oh my gosh! Time just marches on and we are so blessed to have people in every piece of our lives who are so dear.

We were trying to figure out where to spend Saturday nite as we had plans to be in Brainerd Sunday morning for yet another cake day! Jari found us a place at Rutger's Resort outside of Brainerd. Oh my goodness! Although it looks like it would be a little more populated than I'd prefer, it would be a fun place to hang in the summertime. And I was able to soak in even more time in the crisp air with color on the trees and littering the ground.

A stop at Costco and off to honor his special day with yet another group of dear friends! I'm telling you .. this turning 80 is big business!

A mad dash to the Minneapolis airport, ear buds in and ready to hit it again Monday morning.

You have no idea how thankful I am that we've been able to make this traveling business a part of our lives. Even if we aren't running to hot vacation spots ... we have been able to spend time with loved ones quite often lately. Means we are flat out on the couch and in bed by 9 on Monday nite following a crazy weekend, but it is so very worth it!

Monday, November 6, 2017

365: week 34

Happy 1st Birthday sweet Aiden!

It's an eclipse kind of day. We made it outside several times to enjoy the view.

For the longest time I really disliked taking I-17 to work. Then I realized I could shave a few minutes off my morning commute and I decided I could probably tolerate it. Just because .. I check the map on my phone every morning as I'm leaving the house. Not that accidents don't wander into my path even then ...

Do you love clocks as much as I do? Are you as cheap as I am? As much as I like them ... I won't buy a big one. I'll maybe take some pallets, put them together, draw some circles, add some paint and then see if I can get something to keep time. I'm still working on the keeping time thing. It's really just resting here until it moves out of the house. In the meantime, I get to enjoy it!

Moving on up to the north land. Good bye and good luck party.

Once in a while they play nice together. Most often these two, who are the eldest boys of their families, spend their time trying to be alpha. Maybe they each feel as if they're top dog at Papa and Nana's house. I don't know. It just gets a bit challenging sometimes. And then they surprise you!

My goal for the day. Oh my. Who ever thought a side by side fridge/freezer was a good idea anyway.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

365: week 33

After a quiet night on the water, the kids joined us the next day. We have found a cove that we will call ours for the next many family picnics. The bright side is that unless you're able to get across the lake ... you won't be joining us. Perfect play place.

Wyatt doesn't know what that music belongs to as the ice cream truck makes its way around the neighborhood. Being as they are soon leaving ... it was safe to introduce him to the yummy treats that come with that sound. If I was a really sweet Nana, I might have change sitting around here in a jar just for the occasion when the music travels down our street. Maybe someday!

Sometimes you just have to relive a day .. over and over. Our boys live too far away to be joining us on the special outings, but the girls don't! Found a selfie on my cell phone after Sunday at the lake.

Pure delight out there in the water. Tarron is an avid fisherman .. he's always game to hit the water with a line anytime. The big tube gets more of a workout floating around the cove piled with little people than it does getting pulled.

I think this was the last of it. Finally!

Between canning peaches and whatever else goes on around here, I've been make trees from felt. Must have cut miles of felt ... twisted them around wire and formed trees out of them. Will have to remember to share a finished photo with you.

I pulled into the mall parking lot on a mission. Quick in and out if I was lucky. Some nice little sporty BMW was just pulling out of this space. Apparently he needed some new shoes and was above disposing the old ones in any way that might be considered mature. Behavior certainly didn't match his car. Maybe his trunk can't even be soiled with the likes of these. Go figure.

I hear my mom's voice in my head every time I'm tempted to leave a grocery cart anywhere else other than the cart corral! Imagine the words she'd have for me if I dropped my shoes in a parking lot.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

365: week 32

I've sort of been busy. Imagine that I might have time to play with photos and maybe even do some more blogging sometime after Christmas! I meet people everyday who are unable to leave their homes, or even function inside their own walls, due to health conditions. I'll say I am blessed beyond measure to be so busy that I can't get to the grocery store.

I've had these photos loaded and waiting for time to sit and write for quite a while. Since the next few posts ... I've not managed my photo a day thing. Serious bummer. Maybe I'll go find some photos and at least capture life through the missing month or more. It sure is fun to print the book at the end of the year and tuck it on the shelf.

We are back on the water again. Finding minutes in our busy days to spend out there might be a bit challenging, but this was one fun Sunday afternoon. We had a boat before we moved away. One day Jari was on his constant Craigslist search and found our exact same boat for sale in Flagstaff. We really tried to buy that one back. In the end ... the owners decided to keep it and we found another one. Exact same boat ... just a different color. And we have taken to the water. The first day out I have to say I sighed. Real. Big. I had forgotten how relaxing it can be just doing nothing. 


Sometimes it is fun to just watch these two. Someone totalled Tia's car for her.Which means I gave mine up to her ... the search is on with dad showing her what she needs to avoid in the search.

This book sat on my audio wait list at the library for a very long time. I finally got it and have to say I highly recommend.

We have the sweetest neighbors ever. They happen to have an unused minivan ... I'm feeling kind of young again. Just a wee bit quieter than back in my other life.

They're still hanging around ... oh my. Maybe I over ordered. Maybe not.

There's time on the water with kids and grandkids ... and then there's time on the water with just the two of us. The bunks on the boat trailer needed to be replaced and after a failed attempt to hoist the boat ... the best option seemed to be pay for a slip at the lake while the trailer got fixed. We parked the boat there for 3 weeks while Jari did some work when he had moments. One night we headed out and spent the night on the boat at the marina. A bit toasty yet .... because I think this is way back on August 11th. Thank goodness for a slight breeze or sleeping might have been a wee bit sticky. Big benefit of marina life ... restrooms. Serious benefit! On the flip side ... not necessarily quiet. Waves rocked us all night long and I was still rocking Monday at work as I walked. Pure good stuff.

Monday, September 18, 2017

365: week 31

Up until this point, I have been posting these daily (hah ... not!) posts to Instagram and copying them here. Since the last post, I have not posted to Instagram. I can't manage to do it on a daily basis, and it is also apparent that I can't even handle a weekly basis! So in the next few weeks ... I am going to catch up on some life around here ... all from my phone. Somewhere in the middle I hope to get some photos of some fun crafting and some really fun photos I have found on my camera lately.

Let's see if I can manage!

Jari spent some time with Pete Nordstrom, traveling the country on speaking trips with him. Pete and Sylvia were good friends of Jari's parents. This book has been a companion in our car when we're traveling to and from somewhere and we have enjoyed it immensely. Available on Amazon if you have a yen to reach back into your fondest memories of a most unforgettable man.

Life has been a bit nuts. I don't know why but it has. We finally found a Sunday to spend in Prescott and were blessed with this amazing view as we headed home in the evening.

Somedays the socks can't even manage to get put on correctly in the morning.

Sadness is filling our hearts. Anna & Wylon took off driving to Williston, North Dakota today with their first load of stuff. I know we have stuff .. they might almost rival us They will be moving their family to chilly country in September. Although we will miss them desperately, we wish them nothing but the best. We have certainly done the same .. traversed our way to and fro across the country ... following dreams and doing what we felt was the best for our family. So we are going to enjoy having them close every minute we can.

Crafting night was planned this evening and ended up being cancelled due to storms and power outages ... and then the hearty ones went and crafted once the power was back on. Before that tho', I had some wood to cut while praying the clouds would hold off for just long enough. I made it!

36lbs of Colorado peaches made their way into my kitchen today. The middle box was for Anna ... the rest were mine and I greedily kept them all. Delicious!! Last year, mine weren't nearly as good as this year. I may have lost one peach by the time I was done .. the rest were eaten, canned, frozen ..... a little at a time.

It is still horribly warm outside. I can only handle being out there until noon if the humidity isn't sky high. I must have been weeping the blues about the lack of something in the tool aisle at Home Depot cuz the dear hubby came home with all kinds of prizes for me! He's a good one. Actually, sometimes I really have to be careful of what I say I'm needing. It might just be delivered the next day by Amazon.

See you soon with week 32 ....

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

365: ending 30 and 31

Play time! 
This is therapy for me and if I am very fortunate, I get about 10 hours a week of this activity .. at this time of year. By noon I can't handle being outside anymore.

Keeping cool. 
Last year we had a misting system that was very cheap and ineffectual for the most part. All it did was drench the patio furniture. And we had an above ground pool. This year we have neither and have managed to survive just fine!

Rainy morning.

In the cockpit and ready to fly. 

This little picture doesn't capture how stunning it really was. Those clouds!

So many ideas ... so few weekend days to accomplish them!

Hanging up 15# of lead at the end of the day. 
... and this is the light one!

We have roots!
Gwen sent me a super cute idea for planters. Coming up sometime after I clean up my pallet pile ... along with some concrete play time.

Do you think he will qualify me for the carpool lane?
Seriously I have never been this close to a bee unless they were attacking me and then I wasn't standing still to snap a photo.

When you get lost on Facebook for a few too many minutes.
Except for the burnt parts ... it was really good!

Cajun Chicken Pasta Skillet from I Am a Baker on Facebook. Tia wrote down the list of ingredients for me and I winged it. If you are a person who doesn't need ingredient amounts and feel comfortable winging it:

Chicken breast cut into pieces
Salt, Pepper and cajun seasoning mixed with chicken pieces and cooked in oil.

Add: red bell pepper, onion, garlic

Add: chicken broth, noodles, heavy cream and monterey jack cheese

They cooked the noodles in the chicken broth in the skillet. I would cook them separately the next time around. Or not get lost on FB for a few too many minutes.

My 260 degree world.
Somedays I yearn for a BHG or Country Living existence. One where everything is so darn cute and put together that you just want to never leave it. I see photos of yards .. and I visit them .. where everything is so neat and tidy. The lawn is perfectly green. The patio furniture is perfect. The plants are well tended. They look so inviting! And then I come home. I put my work clothes on .. haul out tools from here and there and get to work. Because as much as I love those other places (and mine can clean up well) I love this more. Way. More.

Panoramic photos sort of make tables bowed. In reality .. it might not look like that.

Perpetual inefficiency ... year after year after year.
I wonder if those super duper efficient houses have living people in them. Or perhaps they are all escaping the heat and have gone to cooler climates for the summer. All I know is that it doesn't mater if we have our 3 little selves here or an extra family ... we always qualify for inefficient.

This nearly rounds out our July. We really haven't gone anywhere this month or done anything exciting. Just sorta lived it. Waiting to see what August brings!

Monday, August 7, 2017

365: week 29

Racing the clock home. My map said 38 minutes. #iwon

Adding a trip to this local dairy to the wanna go and do list ... wouldn't the little boys have so much fun?

Inventory time again. #needtoplanbetter.

I might have the best neighbor ever. #loadsofprojects
Then one day he peeks his head over the fence and tells me they are planning on moving this fall. That means they are cleaning out stuff and he has loads of it for me. Free for the taking. I see no rest in sight for this woman! Did you count the pallets? 8 of them!!

Pallet demo. 
I know some of you use a fancy little pallet puller. I don't. I use a sawzall ... actually I use several of them. I use one until it gets hot. Then I use another one until the battery dies .... Then I run around with my magnetic little tool and pick up the metallic leftovers.

Time to go grocery shopping when you're running out of bags for dirty diapers! 
About once a year I end up tossing grocery bags into the trash because they won't fit in my little green dollar store basket. Lately you can tell the size of the family around here. The bag pile is getting smaller and smaller ..

So lucky to have a short visit with our dear Charlene!
She popped in for a few hours one Sunday afternoon to visit between her family visits and doings. So lucky!!

Uh oh
Really? I am suppose to keep calm?!