First Winter Snowfall …

… and it was a doozy! 

Folks are referring to it as a blizzard.  Snow accumulation wasn’t spectacular, but let me tell you – it was pretty darn wild Thursday afternoon and overnight into Friday.  I haven’t seen horizontal snowfall since our time in New Jersey a few years ago when we were still full-time RVers.  Winds here were absolutely howling; think snow hurricane!  A local used the term “blizzarding” to describe what was happening.  Didn’t know that was a verb … ha!

Blizzard 10262017

View from my home office Thursday afternoon before the winds really picked up.

Baby and Maggie

Maggie on the left.  Baby on the right.  They’re waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.

October 25 marked the first anniversary of the passing of our beloved Maggie.  You can read the post – Our Maggie – from last year about our Wee Widget.  I miss her every single day.  She and Baby both loved snow; Baby was with us when we lived in Hibbing.  I know they’d be having great frolics outside these days!

Although it was 28F out this afternoon, it wasn’t snowing and the winds had abated, so I ventured out for a walk. Layered clothing is “the thing” up here, so I was quite snug.

Thirsty Moose hoodie 10282017

  Thirsty Moose cozy hoodie

We lived in Hibbing, MN (about 100 miles east of here) from 2005 to 2007, and enjoyed burgers and pizza at the Thirsty Moose.  During one of our visits, I picked up the hoodie in the photo.  It’s really, really warm.  I wore it a few times around campfires we’d have in NJ, but the only other place it’s been cold enough for it is … you guessed it … northern Minnesota!  Wore it during my walk today and I certainly was cozy.  My comfy hoodie has come full circle, being back in northern MN again.

We have snow of some degree and intensity the next couple of days, with a break on Tuesday, and then it kicks in again.  I also learned this past week that we are apparently living in Blizzard Alley.  You’ve heard of Tornado Alley?  Well … same thing, only blizzards instead of tornadoes.  I’m okay with that.  Lived in Tornado Alley for a while, and I’m content here, thank you!

“Pssst … Momma Nature … it’s October, not January!”  Another local mentioned that we’ve gone from October straight to January.  Hmmm … what happened to November and December?!  Well, I’ll still take the occasional snowstorm over December 90-degree days in Texas any day.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is looking pretty good right now, with sunny skies and a high around 31F.  Did major grocery shopping yesterday, so just have a couple of errands to run.  Today (Monday), we’re back to sideways-blowing snow!  I have to say, the management here did a fine job of clearing the parking lot and sidewalks.  Sweet.

Tuesday is also Halloween, and we’ll be off.  That hasn’t happened in a few years, and we’re looking forward to ordering pizza and watching some appropriate movies.

So it’s now our Friday – a couple of days have passed since I started this post – and we’re looking forward to our usual Tuesday/Wednesday weekend! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?

 









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Another Month Flew By!

Office view 10142017

Evening view from my office

October is just about on its way out the door and the number of daylight hours are dwindling.  Before you know it, Christmas will be rolling in!  So will the snow!

With that in mind, I took our car in for a coolant flush and replacement with “the good stuff” for subzero temperatures.  In visiting with them about prep and maintenance of our Edge during the really cold weather, one of the techs at the dealership told me about a solar-powered trickle charger for the battery.  Newer cars don’t come equipped with block heaters, and the general thought is that the newer models don’t really need them.  Since it looks like we won’t have a garage any time soon, I’ll pick up one of the solar chargers.  Turns out my uncle in Hibbing used one, so that convinced me!

Dave has been taking advantage of the surprisingly mild weather lately to rack up the bike miles.  He doesn’t have to be at work until 2 PM, which allows time for shorter rides during the work week.  Days off see him getting in 40+ miles lately.  I’m tickled he’s enjoying the cycling up here.

A bit after 2 PM now, and it’s so gloomy out that the parking lot lights next door are on.  It’s in the mid 60’s, which is probably the last of the mild days we’ve been having lately.  Not that it’s going to plummet drastically starting tomorrow, but we’ll be getting more seasonable weather.  Cooler weather.

Lake 1 10182017

Went out to the lake last Wednesday while out running errands.  Looks gloomy that day, too, doesn’t it?

LAke 2 10182017

Looking back towards Bemidji State University.

Lake 3 10182017

Geese and gulls hanging out.  That building on the left is the old Carnegie Library.  It is on the National Register of Historic Places, and there’s a project in the works to restore it.

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Inside the visitors center down at the lake.

Downtown arch 10182017

Entrance to downtown Bemidji from the lake park.  That arch is a new addition this summer.

We have a new addition to our home …

Fireplace dark

Electric fireplace heater!

Our RV had a built-in fireplace/electric heater.  We used it a lot, especially those years in New Jersey.  It helped keep the rig warm, reduced the use of the propane furnace and, well, it just looked nice.  We enjoyed the ambiance of the simulated flames.  Although we have gas in-floor central heat here, the living room is a larger area with no carpeting.  This will help keep that area a bit cozier, reduce the use of the furnace (right, who am I kidding when it’s –30 F out?) or at least help us keep the furnace thermostat turned down a bit.  And, again, it gives a cozy feeling to the space.  Tested it on some chilly days.  It has a thermostat and timer, so running it for an hour 2 or 3 times during the day kept the living room cozy, indeed!

Halloween falls on our days off this year, so we may just have a scary movie marathon!  We haven’t been off on that holiday in years.

Speaking of being off from work, we will have 4 days off at Christmas this year!  Woot!  Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the 2 days following.  That hasn’t happened since 2013, while in Jersey.  I’m really, really looking forward to Christmas and decorating our new home.  We have some decorations we used in the RV, but this year we are talking about getting a slightly larger tree – going from 1 foot to about 4 feet.  Ha!  Although I’ve never gone overboard decorating my homes, we’ll probably add a few things here and there to supplement what decorations we already have from our full-timing days.  There’s a good chance we’ll have a white Christmas, too!  Yay!  We both love Christmas.  It’s such a magical time.  It’ll be nice to have a few days to relax and enjoy it.

Well, it is a work day, so I’d best wrap this up and earn some money!  Still enjoying my telecommuting job as an administrative assistant, and grateful for that opportunity. 

Until next time …

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?

 

In A Groove

We seem to have a nice groove going on here.  Our work week is Thursday through Monday.  Although we miss most of the festivities around town and the area on Saturdays and Sundays (and believe me, there are a lot of festivities!), we do enjoy the uniqueness of being off on weekdays.  I suppose quite a few people would consider our life uneventful but, ya know what?  We’ve experienced eventful during our years as full-time RVers.  Besides that, neither of us has to be entertained by external stimulus.  Age creeping in?  No, don’t think so.  I’ve always found enjoyment in simply “be-ing.” 

Now that’s not to say we don’t get out and about or are just cocoons in our comfy recliners.

Park 3 08092017

We found exercise equipment at a local park on one of our walks together recently.

Park 2 08092017

I thought this was pretty neat.  It’s a rope climbing … cube?

My work is keeping me busy, which is almost an understatement these days.  My job is morphing and expanding yet once again, but I’m absolutely okay with that.  My boss scheduled a virtual happy hour recently, and we four gals had a good video visit via Skype.  Much needed for all of us after a crazy week, and it was nice to put faces and voices with the other two gals I work with.  We communicate and collaborate during working hours via Skype messaging and email, which is wonderful and productive, but it was fun to hang out “in person” with video chat.

Virtual happy hour … what a great idea!  I’m looking forward to more of those.  I think we’re gonna need ‘em.  Ha!  I’m so grateful for my telecommuting job and my colleagues.  We rock!

Plants 08022017

We get morning sun through our front living room window, so the plants catch some rays.

Porch flowers 08092017

Speaking of plants, I got a couple of shepherd’s hooks and hanging baskets

You see quite a few shepherd’s hooks with hanging baskets in our community, since actually planting something in the flowerbeds is taboo.  You can place things in the flowerbeds, just can’t dig in ‘em. Quite a few cottages have really nice and cute patios set up.  We haven’t done much because we don’t have a garage yet and, therefore, no place to store things when Mr. Winter arrives. 

Hanging basket 08092017

Dave commented a few times about how nice other residents’ hanging baskets were, so … I scored these on sale at Home Depot!  Hopefully we’ll have a garage by next Summer and can spruce up our patio a bit more.  At least we have some color out there now, and flowering plants are always nifty.

Last week a Healing Powwow was held at the hospital, which is right down the street.  I could see the marquee tent set up and, when I saw the colors being taken in and started hearing drums, I bugged out of work and walked down.

I hadn’t been to a powwow in around 10 years.  This was a small one, but oh so very awesome.  The “real deal,” not something contrived for tourists.  After the Grand Entrance, dance was opened to anyone/everyone there, not just the registered dancers.  Well …

I could hear my mentor Lyn whispering in my ear about embracing Life, joy, the moment and who I am spiritually.  I think I also felt her give me solid yet loving nudge.  The spiritual 2×4, if you will.  So …

I danced. 

Just a few minutes.  But in those few minutes, my heart was full and I experienced such joy.  Amazing.  It was one of “those” moments.  I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

I was away from my office for less than an hour.  How terrific is that?

You can see a short video of the Grand Entrance and read about the powwow here.


Rainbow half 08042017

We have seen several rainbows, including doubles like this one, during our time here so far.  We could actually see both ends of this one …

Rainbow other half 08042017

I need to learn how to take a panoramic photo with my phone.  Here’s the other end.

Sunset 08122017

Sunset from our patio.

So today is Sunday and my day for housecleaning.  That’s working out to be a good schedule.  Once a week means no chore is really difficult because I’m doing it weekly, and it doesn’t take that long.  That also sets us up for a nice, fresh home on our days off and I have those days relatively chore-free.  Even though I get groceries and do laundry over those 2 days, it still leaves plenty of time to chill out and enjoy quality time together.

Running errands is pleasant and stress-free here.  Doesn’t take much time, either, in a small town.  I’m also giddy at the fact that I don’t have to perform Twister moves to clean the bathroom like I did in the RV!

This “weekend” we’re planning another trip to the secondhand bookstore downtown to restock Dave and perhaps a wee road trip to the town of Blackduck.  There’s a scenic drive on that route and our Wee Beastie (the car) could use a good outing. 

Yes, Life is Guid!

Thanks for stopping by!


Living Near a Lake

We’re finding that living in a town with a lake such as our Lake Bemidji is quite pleasant.  This weekend will be the Dragon Boat Festival, festivities starting tomorrow and culminating with the main race on Saturday.  There will be entertainment, vendors and the like … you know, a festival!

It being our “Saturday,” we went down to the shore to check out what was happening so far.

Practice dragon boats 08012017

The boats will be decorated for the actual race.

Dragon boat team coming in 08012017

Team coming in from practice run.

Rain coming Lake Bemidji 08012017

Rain tonight and tomorrow is in the forecast.  Looks like it, doesn’t it?

Dock at lake 08012017

Hey! I got one of those “dock” photos of my own!

Me at lake with Shaynowishkung  08012017

Yours truly with Shaynowishkung, “Chief Bemidji.”

Flowers on path at lake 08012017

Along one of the walking paths.

Today’s weather has been stunning.  So much so that, after Dave returned from his morning bike ride and I had a walk, we returned to C.K. Dudley’s for a midafternoon lunch on their patio. 

Can’t beat this.

Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Sanford AirMed, so I walked down to the open house at the hospital.  Tours were being given of the air ambulance.  Since it was so close and they fly (low) over the house on their landing approach at the hospital, I had to go check it out.  Well, I also just dig flying things.

Sanford AirMed open house 07312017

I’ve flown in choppers before, but thankfully not an air ambulance.

So far, it’s another nice weekend here in northern Minnesota.  We’re planning on a stay-at-home day due to the weather forecast, but I have cooking to do and a few projects around here.  We don’t get bored, even if it’s kicking back in our recliners to watch a movie … or two.  Nothing wrong with that on a day off!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?





Another Week Flew By

And so another week has flown by here in northern Minnesota.  Is that we’re of an age where time does indeed seem to move faster, is it our work schedule with Thursday being our “Monday” and Monday our “Friday,” or is it that Life is flowing along at a fairly smooth and pleasant pace?

Perhaps a combination, or all, of the above!

With Thursday being the start of our work week, everyone else’s weekend is almost upon us.  Sunday is my housecleaning day, with the start of that after Dave goes to work.  By evening, I’m “done and dusted,” literally, and settle down at my desk for a few hours’ work.  When everyone else in the working world is bemoaning the fact that it’s Monday, we’re doing our happy dance that it’s our “Friday” and our weekend is about to commence.  Yay us!

Whatever it is, I’ll take it. 

Remember the celebration of the new Cancer Center in my previous post?  There was a giveaway drawing one could enter, which I did.  Didn’t give it a second thought.  Heck, I never win anything.  Of course, I typically don’t enter contests and don’t play the lottery.  Yesterday morning I received a phone call telling me I had won!  Well, alrighty!  Swung by the Sanford Health offices while out running errands and came away with this puppy:

Rolling cooler 07242017

Rolling cooler with retractable handle

Pretty spiffy, eh?  We currently don’t have a small cooler, so this is great when we decide to pack a lunch for a day outing.  It may also come in handy for grocery shopping if I need to make several stops.  Cheers to Sanford Health!

Here’s some synchronicity for you.  The building I thought I should go to for the prize pickup was the “wrong” one.  I ended up in the Center for Optimum Health, School of Integrative Medicine; again, this is at the end of the street where I walk, across from the hospital.  Turns out the proprietress, Jeanne is – among other things – a Reiki person!  We had a lovely visit and agreed my ending up there was certainly no “accident.” All sorts of groovy happenings take place there … Tai Chi, yoga, Reiki, massage of various kinds, and Reflexology are among the offerings.

With rain in the forecast and having done grocery shopping yesterday morning, this is a stay-at-home day for yours truly.  Accomplished this just a while ago …

Living room with drums 07252017

Drums are finally up and into the Light again!

First time my drums have been hung since 2010, as it just wasn’t practical to do so while living in the RV.  During that time, they were snug and protected in their respective bags and cases.  They have been with me since 2002/2003, have taken part in countless drum circles over the years, and have served as teaching aides in my Reiki classes.  It does my heart and soul good to see them on a daily basis once again.  Makes our cottage feel even more like home.  Yep, there’s my Bear, the artwork created after I explained what I would like to see on the drum, and my relationship with Bear.  Dear Bear.  Guardian, Protector, Giver of Strength, and Provider of Comfort and Peace.

I hear you saying, “Bear? Really?”  Yeah, Bear.  Turns out I didn’t consciously realize Bear’s role/presence in my life until about 2002.  He’d always been there, I just had not realized it … or Bear hadn’t chosen to reveal his constant presence until then.

Bear Dad

Standing 2”, this fella has been with me throughout my life since the day my Dad got him for me on a trip to Yellowstone.  That’s 50+ years at this point.

Once again, as with many things spiritual, this is an influence of my Dad.  More of how Bear has been a presence in my life over the years, but the wee Bear above has been with me since that day in Yellowstone when I was a kid.  He went to college with me and has survived all the moves to different homes and my life in general since that day long ago.  Okay, he’s missing his right ear now, but still stands strong.  Posed for the photo above, his normal habitat is on the shelf of my desk.

Dave is back from his bike ride around Lake Bemidji and other parts, and the laundry is just about done, so before long it will be time for dinner and whatever else we get into this evening.

Ciao for now!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?

5 Days and 5 Years

“Peace to all within these walls.”

Cancer center sign 07182017

I’ve mentioned before that the hospital is right down the street from us.  More buildings related to healthcare are scattered about this area; the home health/hospice offices are right next door.  Well, not right next door; there’s a good-sized grassy area and ditch (both nicely manicured) separating our properties.  Anyway, the hospital is within walking distance and is on my walking route, so I pass by it all the time.

Cancer center celebration marquee 07182017

Marquee last night, all ready for today’s event.

Tonight is the celebration for the new Cancer Center being built; we can see the construction from here.  There’s a picnic, program and beam signing, the latter being the reason I wanted to attend.  So, I strolled down the street a bit ago, chatted with a few people and then signed the beam with the phrase at the top of this post.

Cancer center celebration 1 07192017

We all want a cure for every cancer.  We don’t want anyone to hear the words, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer.”  We don’t want anyone to have to endure the path of being diagnosed with cancer at any point in their life.  We want everyone with such a diagnosis to come out the other side hearing the words, “No evidence of disease.” Every. Year. Thereafter.

Sometimes, though, all one can hope to attain is peace.  Peace when struggling to come to terms with one’s diagnosis.  Peace when undergoing treatment.  Peace when resuming life after treatment.  Peace at end of life.

Hence, the phrase I chose.

Cancer center celebration 2 07192017

Today is the fifth “cancerversary” of hearing my second cancer diagnosis.  The synchronicity could not be ignored.  I felt a need need to sign the beam, my inscription being instilled with energy of hope, strength and … peace.

Cancer center celebration 3 07192017

This Cancer Center is going to be great!  All services – oncologists, chemo center, radiation therapy and so forth – will be under one roof instead of being spread about the neighborhood.  A boutique for cancer patients will also be part of the new Center.  Kudos to Sanford Health!

Five Days

We are in the late afternoon of Day 5 of our vacation-at-home holiday.  It sure is/has been a great one, and we’re not done yet!  For the sixth day in a row, Dave was out on the bike this morning after watching a bit of the Tour de France.  I did a few things around here while he was gone, and then we treated ourselves to a late lunch at Mi Rancho, the amazing Mexican restaurant here in town.

A bit after our return, I went down to the Cancer Center celebration, as above.  My sole purpose in going, really, was to sign the beam.  Mission accomplished, I returned home shortly after that.  I’m about to wrap up this blog post, and I suspect there will be a chess session on the porch in a wee while.

We have really, really enjoyed our holiday.  We haven’t spent a bunch of money, there was no travel to a destination, we did a few things but weren’t rushing around with a schedule, and it was all done in the comfort of sleeping in our own home every night.  Such a deal!

There were a few home improvement things done – a few “nesting” activities – and we’re just about set for Winter when it appears in what will seem like a short few weeks.  Yes, I know it’s July, but this is Minnesota!  Ha!  We’ll need to add some winter outerwear geared for this climate, but house-wise, we’re settled in, looking and feeling cozy.

I totally like our cottage/townhome – not just the floorplan and location, but the way it’s shaping up, the way we’re making it “our own.”

Life is good!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation Days 3 and 4

After Dave’s bike ride yesterday morning, we headed into downtown to explore.  Our first stop was Gallery North, which showcases local authors and artisans.  We checked out a few other shops in our meanderings, including Bemidji Woolen Mills.  If I played and hit the lottery, I’d go shopping there.  In the meantime, I’ll probably just admire the quality items in their retail store.  It reminded me of the woolen shops in Edinburgh, so it was a pleasant bit of “window shopping.”  Being the warmest and most humid day of the year so far, we didn’t spend much more time walking around, but headed on over to Keg ‘N Cork for our meal of the day.  They boast as being the first Irish pub on the Mississippi.  Dave had a couple of Killian Reds on tap; after all, we’re on holiday!  We figured the last time he had a beer in a pub was in New Jersey.  Tells you how much we go out and party.  We both had burgers with a few fries, which were good, but absolutely too much food for us.  The food combined with the heat and humidity resulted in prolonged napping after we got home.

We were just zonked!

The front porch was the scene of two heated chess matches yesterday evening, with Dave winning the first and the second resulting in a draw.

Chess on the porch 07172017

Ominous skies as we were winding up chess last evening.

We got maybe 2-3 big drops of rain from those foreboding skies, but that was it.  Until … Around 2:45 AM this morning, I got a Special Weather Statement on my phone and immediately heard wind and hail pinging on the windows.  Yikes!  Went to the front door, opened the main door to look out the storm door window.  Marble-sized hail.  Lovely.  I really couldn’t get back to sleep thinking about our Wee Beastie sitting out in the open.  I sent it good protective vibes and, on checking our nifty car this morning, found that it did just fine.  Sure will be glad when we get a garage!

It’s the evening of Day 4, and it’s been another lovely day!  Originally intending to make a scenic drive and get lunch in Blackduck, we opted to just stay at home.  It was warm again today and looked like a rather dull day, and we’d rather make the drive when the weather’s a bit cooler and nicer.  So!  Dave had his usual ride this morning, and I did a bit of laundry and the marketing; that way I have tomorrow to kick back before we return to work Thursday.

Shelving 07182017

The last of the shelving is in place, but still needs to be organized. Hope to get my drums on the wall tomorrow.

We’ve been doing a bit more “nesting” with Dave getting the last of the shelving units in place today.  I still need to organize the shelves, but at least it’s there!  Makes the living area cozier, looks less bare and takes up some of that reaaalllly long wall.

Dinner was at home today, followed by another chess match on the porch.  It’s such a nice change to be able to enjoy sitting outside in the evenings.  

Time now to wind down the day.  Errands are done in prep for our return to work, and that leaves one more day to chill out and play!  A trip to the Mexican restaurant may be on the agenda tomorrow.  We’ll see.

Thanks for stopping by!  Stay safe out there, okay?