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.

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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 1 and 2

Dave tagged on 3 vacation days to our usual Tues/Weds, so we’ve officially been on holiday starting yesterday.  Yay for us!  Although we were off almost 3 weeks when we moved here from Texas in April, that was a relocation, and it was work.  Now that we’ve been in our usual routines for a bit, a relaxing real holiday was in order.

Dave had a nice bike ride yesterday morning and I hit Hobby Lobby, which was having a 50% sale on just about all decorative items.  Plus, I had a 40% coupon.  I’ve been keeping an eye out for a couple of things for blank walls, one in the bathroom and one over the kitchen sink.

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A bit of Gecko whimsy and good vibes for the bathroom

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And some Celtic good vibes for meals in the kitchen, which is often the heart of one’s home.

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One of Dave’s projects is putting place 3 new bookcases, the first of which is on the right. We’ll end up with 4 units on the really long living room wall, and the grouping will be staggered a bit in height.  The shelves are a mess in the photo, in transition.  Hope to have the other 3 complete by the end of our holiday.

Although we said “No cooking, we’re on vacation,” we had pasta here at home last night, followed by chess on the front porch.  Well, it’s our only porch.  It was remarkably chilly in the evening, especially considering we’re used to sweltering Texas evenings in mid July.

This morning saw Dave out on the bike again, while I took my time doing a few things around here (houseplant therapy, hanging the item over the kitchen sink, changing bed linens).  Once he was home, showered and changed, we headed out to Lake Bemidji State Park, which is about 7 miles from our home.

Dave cycles through here all the time on the Paul Bunyan State Trail, but had never explored the park proper. 

Dave at Lake Bemidji SP 07162017

Dave, the intrepid explorer

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There are walking trails all around the lake.

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Access to the lake from one of the several boat launch areas.

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This is where the boats come from that use the access above.

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Part of the Paul Bunyan State Trail, a section of the Rails to Trails network.

Lake Bemidji SP 6 07162017

Don’t have your own bike? No problem! You can rent one at the park.

Lake Bemidji SP 5 07162017

Another view from our walk.

(The above photos were taken with my “good” camera, a Canon Rebel DSL which I haven’t used in … well, probably since New Jersey days.  Was fun putting it back into service.)

We did have a nice walk about the park, not all of it, but a decent bit.  Went through some of the campground sections with tents and trailers; even saw a Montana 5th wheel.  It’s pretty tight confines, and I really would not want to put a big rig in one of the back-in sites.

Earlier in the week, I made a list of things we wanted to do while off and places to consider for meals.  Noticed C.K. Dudley’s was right on our way to the state park, so we stopped there on our way back, choosing to dine on the deck outside. 

Lunch at CK Dudleys 07162017

Didn’t notice until I downloaded the photo, but it looks like the “Exit Only” sign is a wee drink decoration in Dave’s glass!

We both chose the BBQ Brisket wrap, me with chips and Dave with fries.  Oh my!  It was very good and too much for us for one meal, so we each brought half home.  Service was very good and friendly, meal was yummy, and it was so nice to enjoy sitting outside.  We will definitely return.

Chilling out a bit back home now, with possibly more home improvement projects still for today (or not, after all, it’s vacation) and a chess session later.  There’s supposed to be a decent chance for auroras tonight, but not sure we’ll be up that late.

Tomorrow’s forecast looks a bit dodgy with a hefty chance of rain and thunderstorms.  That’s okay, because our itinerary (loose as it may be) is to drive into downtown, park, and explore on foot.  Downtown Bemidji is … well, pretty darn cool.  There is a sculpture walk, all sorts of wee shops and various cafes and pubs.  We have been downtown on errands with specific purpose, each time saying, “We should come back sometime and just explore.”  Well, I think tomorrow may be the day!  Even if it is raining a bit, we can duck in and out of shops.

Our holiday may not sound exciting and it surely is low-key and inexpensive, but it suits us just fine and we’re enjoying ourselves!

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



Life is Totally Different These Days …

… and I have to say I’m enjoying it!

Apple pie

First apple pie in quite some time

When we were in New Jersey, I did honest-to-goodness cooking.  Well, we left there 3 years ago and I don’t think I’ve made an apple pie since then.  So!  It was about time!  Dave enjoyed having this as dessert with his work dinners.

This is the first time we’ve both had July 4th off work since our Jersey days, too.  Dave had a nice bike ride and I did the marketing in the morning.  In the afternoon, we went to check out the Bemidji Water Carnival held on the shores of Lake Bemidji here in town.  Neither of us had been to a carnival in … well, as the Scottish saying goes … “donkey’s years.”  That’s a long time, folks.

Water Carnival 2

Water Carnival 1 Water Carnival 3 07042017

Water Carnival 4

Fun to watch from the ground

Water Carnival Zipper ride

Another one fun to watch.  The center piece rotated, giving each of the  cages quite a ride.  The screams at the carnival were coming from this ride.

No, we didn’t go on any rides and didn’t give any money to the games hawkers.  We went just to stroll around and enjoy the sights and sounds.  Free event, free parking, a chance to get out and about and relive some childhood memories.  The weather was perfect – Summer has arrived in Minnesota, but it’s rather pleasant – parking was easy and there weren’t tons of people around.  The fireworks display on Lake Bemidji was the final event of the carnival last night, so I bet there were quite a few more folks around for that.  We certainly heard the fireworks quite well from our porch and could see the display reflected in the hospital windows.  Cool. 

Thing is, we’re actually able to get out and do fun things once again!  It’s so nice to have our days off truly be that … days off.  There’s no RV maintenance to deal with, amenities are so close and hassle-free that I can get errands run quickly and without stress, laundry can be done any time, etc.  Oh … and the weather is now a positive contributing factor versus a negative influence.  Yes, summertime is here, but it is not so hot that outdoor activities are unthinkable.  Our lives are no longer controlled by what has to be done within certain times.  We’ve reduced our stress level – physical, emotional and spiritual – enormously with our change of lifestyle and moving to a more tolerable climate.

I know, I know.  I can hear you saying, “Yeah, but what about Winter?”  Well, Winter is Winter.  We know what to expect.  Still, check with me in February.  At least we won’t have to shovel our sidewalk.

Long and short is that our quality of life is much better now. 

So that was Day 1 of our weekend this week.  Dave is off cycling, I’m venturing forth to my first hair appointment since we arrived (and you know that can be either a grand experience or a traumatic one with a new stylist) and then there may be a midafternoon meal at the Mexican restaurant.

Guess I’d best toddle off for now.  How was your Fourth of July?

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?

“Summer Arrives on August 21”

That’s what my aunt used to say about Summer in Minnesota.  It was more like, “Summer arrives on August 21, at 2:15 in the afternoon.”  We may be looking at that this year and, you know what?  I’m okay with that!  It’s a tad after 11 AM and 56F outside with overcast skies.  Sure is looking like rain, which is in the forecast, so I may be taking Dave to work.  I’m okay with that, too!

Sherry, (In the Direction of Our Dreams) yes, I do play the frame drums.  Well, not so much now because I haven’t found a drum circle here yet or, rather, a drum circle hasn’t found me.  You know how that goes.  From about 2003-2005, I was a regular in a circle some of us gals started back in Brenham, TX.  Two or three of us took yoga together at the health food store, which was this lovely log building.  Yoga classes were held in a big room upstairs.  So, one of the gals asked me after class, “Would you be interested in getting a drum circle going?”  And we did!  New Moon circles became a ritual (pun absolutely intended!) for us ladies, and our group grew, as did my drum collection.

My Bear drum was custom designed and painted, and embodies my Spirit Animal Bear.  That’s my Spirit Drum, and I don’t lend it out at circles.  The others were available for folks to try out at our gatherings … but not Bear. I really didn’t know what it would look like until I received the drum.  I had spoken with the vendor about “my Bear” and he relayed those thoughts, impressions, and feelings to the artist.  The result was amazing.  And perfect.

Fast forward to 2008 or so, I’m remarried and we were living in the Austin area.  I took a freebie djembe class at Drumz in Austin and was hooked.  Or was it addicted? Teehee! Ended up with my own djembe, took classes with Sherry Gingras (owner of Drumz) and participated in area circles which she facilitated.  What a joyous hoot those were!  A church in my neighborhood graciously allowed me to hold circles at their facility; however, I left the area before getting that one really established.

How the heck this turned into a drumming post … I have no idea!  Ha!  That’s sort of the way both blogging and drumming seem to go.  They just happen  sometimes.

Going along with that theme, one of the “happenings” in town this summer will be a healing powwow at the medical center.  How convenient is that?  I can see the hospital from here.  I haven’t been to a powwow almost 10 years, and now I’ll be able to walk to one!

Well, it’s our “Wednesday,” and pretty soon we’ll both be heading to work.  I may take Dave today, as it’s already been raining a bit and looks like more on the way.  Then I’ll come back home, have some lunch and settle down here at my desk again for my workday.

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?

Groovy Weekend and Other Such Haps

We’ve been busy since I last posted.  Busy with our routine schedules, but we’ve also done some fun things.  This weekend was totally groovy.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to say that.

Storms 06212017

We’ve had storms this evening, and the weather sirens were cranked up a couple of times.

We traveled about 100 miles east to Hibbing, where we lived from 2005 until 2007, and where my uncle (in his 90s now) still resides.  We’ve been trying to get over there for several weeks on our days off, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating.  Yesterday was the day!  Once we reached Grand Rapids, we were in familiar territory and traveling back in time.  Dave once worked a few weeks at the paper mill in GR during his time as a pipefitter back then.  The paper mill is still in operation, as is the wee hotel where he stayed.  Crazy.  Grand Rapids to Hibbing was totally familiar, and we kept pointing out landmarks we remembered.

Road construction was evident in Hibbing, as it was all along the route from here to there.  Summertime is when road crews are able to make necessary repairs, so delays are just a fact of life up here.  Sadly, Hibbing is looking even more depressed and stagnant with the passage of these 10 years since we lived there.  Essentially dependent on the taconite mining industry which is pretty much nonexistent now, the town simply is not thriving.  More businesses have closed, including the Kentucky Fried Chicken that had been there forever.  (We learned that from my uncle.)  One of our fave restaurants is long gone, and they did a pretty good business.  Lowe’s opened in 2006, and that has been the last major player to enter the Hibbing scene.  There really is just nothing going on with the town … no attempts at revitalization, etc.  The current economy cannot sustain that, and there have been apparently no attempts to boost income with any sort of tourism and so forth.

That aside, we did cruise by the two residences where we lived.  One was a duplex, and it looked pretty sad … certainly the tenants and landlord are not keeping up the place as we did.  The other house we rented is now up for sale, and the yard looked pretty overgrown. Funny, we had both forgotten how we painted the cement front porch and steps; however, driving down the street to the house, that memory was suddenly a vivid recollection. 

We had an outstanding visit with my uncle.  He and I speak every week to 2 weeks on the phone, but I honestly never expected to see him again.  So very good to sit with him in his living room and talk, and to exchange hugs and kisses.

We made it home safe and sound that evening with carry-out pizza for our meal in the coziness of our own place here. 

Today … wow, today!  This week is the 2017 Air Race Classic – a cross-country race for women pilots from Maryland to New Mexico – and Bemidji Regional Airport is one of the checkpoints.  Awesome!  After speaking with the airport last week, I knew the majority of the racers were anticipated today.  Racers have the option of doing a flyby, landing for fuel, or stopping for the night.  (Racers have to be landed by sunset each day.)  I experienced an almost-buzz walking into the supermarket.  Sitting at the stoplight coming home from the market, I experienced a honest-to-goodness buzz.  Whoohoo!  Yes, I was the crazy lady sitting in my car whooping and laughing.  “Oh my gosh!!  That was such a rush! “  Once home, I was getting some things out of the car and another racer was approaching overhead.  My neighbor/friend was out, so I pointed to the plane and called her name.  She saw it.  We saw several more while visiting and, yes, we were the two silvered-hair “crazy ladies” waving.  I had to run to Walmart for a few things, and I noticed on my way out that she had indeed gotten out chairs and was set for more viewing.  I heard probably 5-6 planes buzz over Walmart while I was inside.

So I basically did my marketing and shopping walking around the stores grinning like a Cheshire cat.

I’ve been able to follow race progress with the interactive map, and even listen to pilot-control tower chatter, so it’s been a pretty fun couple of days. 

It is experiences such as this I had been missing until we moved here.  Experiences I had not had, really, since we were in New Jersey.  Moments that cause me to laugh outright with joy, to “whoop!” and that cause my soul to soar.  Sure do like living here.

Back to between last post and our weekend …

Lake view 06142017

We took a stroll around Diamond Point Park at Lake Bemidji after attending the library book sale.

Totem at BSU 06142017

Totem on the campus of Bemidji State University at Diamond Point Park.

Treasures 06142017

More treasures being unpacked and enjoying being out in the Light again.

Drums 06142017

My drums will go on a wall somewhere, just not sure yet (drums are much bigger than this photo seems).

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Took my djembe for a wee spin on the porch.  It still sounds and feels great!

Rocks on shelf

Picked up this shelf for my stones at the antiques flea market recently.  Good find for $4.00.

Bookcase 06212017

Went to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store today to check out a cedar chest posted online.  (We’re still looking for an entryway bench of some sort for where we take off shoes.)  While it was in very good condition and was a quality piece at a very reasonable price, it just didn’t say, “Take me home.”  This wee bookcase, however, did whisper those words to me and, at $3.00, how could I resist?  A dusting, cleaning and some furniture polish and … perfect!

That pretty much catches up from last post until now.    Tomorrow we’re back to work.  The days and weeks seem to be moving along at a pretty good clip.  That’s fine, because we’ve scheduled a few days off in July for a “staycation” and some R&R.  Who needs to go somewhere else when there’s so much to explore in our new hometown and the surrounding area!

Thanks for stopping by!  Ya’ll be safe out there, okay?