Friday, July 31, 2015

Going to change one of my ways -

I always hear that saying, "you need to change your ways".  Or maybe I remember my dad telling me that when I was in trouble or close to being in trouble.  But I decided this morning that I need to "change one of my ways".

I have been so hard on myself for so long.  Always lots of negative talk about how I am not doing what I should be doing - harsh talk to myself.  Lots of talk to myself about how I should be eating less, moving more, working harder, getting things done - and on and on it goes.  This morning I realized how much of my time I spend being really mean to myself.   So I am going to "change my ways" with that.

When I realize I am negative talking, I am going to stop it and mentally and physically turn to something else.  Start something different, get up from what I am doing, move away physically and mentally from that place.  I will see how the day goes.

Supper tonight is going to be taco salad here at home.  I bought these little pans that make the tortilla salad bowls - they are baked so are much better for us.  We had them a couple weeks ago and I took these pictures.  They are really good.  I cook up some ground beef and beans with taco seasoning and layer it in with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and whatever else we have the works on tacos.

Supper is planned and will be good!  Now that is being good to myself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Interesting night . .

Nothing unusual in many ways, but again I did not sleep well last night.  My brain was working overtime on Mom's estate stuff and her passing and missing her.

One of our cousins has just recently caused a heartache because she felt she and her children were not involved as much as they thought they should have been in Mom's last days.  Of course they said nothing to me but rather approached my sister with the focus on it being my decision.  And they stated how much they loved Mom and would have wanted to have been there.  They actually live here.  What is up with that kind of behavior?

My sister and/or I were with Mom for every hour of her last 10 days.  We called all the relatives to let them know and many came to visit and pay their last respects in whatever way they were most comfortable and I think Mom knew when loved ones were there.  At no time did anyone from this particular, complaining family call or stop.  And you know what?  At that time, it did not even seem odd.  Everyone handles those kinds of things in their own way and heaven knows my sister and I had our hearts and hands full.  It is a very loving, painful, forgiving, peaceful time.   Now, it seems, they feel they were slighted. I just have to shake my head.

But it is still possible to stay awake thinking about Mom.  Even after these 7 months. Thinking about how she died and what more we might have been able to do.  Missing her again and again.

Here are some flower pictures I took with my iPhone while at the lake.  Love them and need them this morning.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Great grand parents . . .

I never knew my mother's grandparents.  Albert and Mary Paulsen homesteaded in North Dakota and came to this country from Denmark.  After being in North Dakota for about 20 years, in 1902, they decided to move to the Kalispell area.  The older of their 12 children stayed in North Dakota and the younger ones went with them.  My grandmother, mom's mother, Hannah Paulsen was one of the younger girls.  My mom's mother also died before I was born so I never knew her either.

While building a large home in the Kalispell area for his family, Albert Paulsen was killed in an accident while removing tree stumps from the area around the new house.  That was in 1905.  He was buried in Kalispell.  His wife, Mary, returned to North Dakota with the younger children where they grew up.  When she passed in 1940, she was buried in Kalispell with him.  Growing up I never knew they were buried there.  I am not sure my mother knew it until she was in her later years.  She knew they had lived in Kalispell and she knew where the "in town" house was and where the house was that was being built.  Those stories she had heard from her mother.  Mom was 12 when her mother passed and she had limited contact with her grandmother.

When I was in Kalispell last week, I took an afternoon to go to the Conrad Memorial Cemetery to see if I could find the graves of my great grandparents.  I had no idea where to even begin to look.  I thought there would be someone there with records.  Nope - that was not to be.  But I did look it up on "" and found a picture.  Armed with that, finding the actual marker was easy.  The cemetery was founded in 1902 by the Conrad family and the marker was in the oldest section.  This is is a gorgeous cemetery.

I am glad I found these markers.  It was a cool, rainy day - just right for connecting.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My cell phone returned today. . .

It has been a long few days but finally my cell phone showed up in the mail.  I am so appreciative that the restaurant found it and took the time to send it to me.  So I can't be upset that it took what seemed like an endless amount of time to get it back.  I will be more careful.

Here are some of the pictures that I took last week.  We sure had a great time.

Each morning there were several small sail boats out with what appeared to be an instructor in a canoe.  Some were just sail boards and others small boats.  This was one of the most beautiful mornings from our deck.

The dock was quite a ways down below the deck but there was a nice path with some stairs to get there.  We did not have a boat but a couple hours were nice enough for some to get in the water.  

There was a little covered patio just off the deck where we had our morning coffee each morning and gabbed and gabbed and gabbed.

This is the morning we left.  These are the original four from Cut Bank and they have kind of "adopted" me to participate in their Cut Bank reunions.  They sure don't look like 70, huh?  Gail, in the red shirt, was my freshman roommate in college.  We have stayed close friends every since.  I was her "matron of honor" when she married and she is the "godmother" of my older son.   Lots of years and lots of miles.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Great week with long time good friends . . .

I got home late Saturday night after spending the previous week with long time college friends in a great house on Flathead Lake.  We gather every few years and this year was special as it was the year we all turn, or turned, 70.  There were 5 of us and we all enjoyed the time together.

I took some great pictures, but I left my phone in a cafe in Seeley Lake, MT as we traveled home on Saturday afternoon.  The picture below is one from one of the friends.   This was of one of the many rainbows we enjoyed during the week and part of the view from the living room and deck.   It was kind of a cool time so we did not get in much water playing but the amount of gabbing made up for it.

We also went to see "Annie" at the Bigfork Playhouse and that was fabulous.  Most of the time we just were lazy and visited, laughed, shared old memories and made many good, new ones.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Busy days . . .

We are working hard to get organized and clean out, thin out, throw out lots of excess so the house will be ready for Stan, Rainy, Walker and Weston to move in July 28th.

The new washer and dryer arrived this week.  They are not fancy but they seem very sturdy and do a great job.  We have set up the bedroom again upstairs in the place that is a bedroom but has been used for storage.  And I finally went through the boxes of stuff I brought back from Mom's apartment last January after she died.  That pile had just been untouched for all these months.  I tried to go through them a few months back, but just couldn't.  It was much easier now.  It felt sweet and not so painful.

Today I am getting ready for my good friend, Gail,  from Colorado to come to Bozeman.  She arrives this evening.  Tomorrow we are going to spend the day getting ready to head to Flathead Lake on Monday morning.  We have to get mani-pedi's and all of that stuff.  We will meet up with three other women and spend the week celebrating our 70th birthdays which we all have or will enjoy this year. We have all known each other for over 50 years and a couple of them have known each other since kindergarten.  We rented a house on the lake with a dock, great lake views and a hot tub on the deck. It will be a wonderful week with good friends.

So that is about it for here - more later.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Great day . . .

Today we went over to Virginia City, Montana.  It is a a great old mining town that was the territorial capital before Montana became a state.

Our son, Stan, completed a duathlon that ended there today.  It started in the town of Ennis and wondered through graveled mining roads, up and down hills and into Virginia City.  He rode his bike about 14 miles and ran about 7.  We were there when he came in.  He was smiling and so were we.   Stan had serious heart surgery the end of August last year so it was an important milestone for him.  I was very nervous but so glad he did it as his physical work is necessary for his health now and always has been.

Here are a couple of pics . . .

Friday, July 3, 2015

Moving faster . . .

I woke up this morning with some kind of bug - not the day for that as there is so much to do.  But I moved ahead anyway.  Now I am weary but glad I struggled through and got some things done.

First we went out to retrieve Gus from the repair place that was fixing the chassis air conditioner.  It needed a new hose and that is a special hose as it comes from the engine in the rear to the front dashboard area.  The roof air conditioners are fine so that is good.

Next we decided to get some ideas of what to do with our king size mattress.  It is 20 years old but it has been a great mattress.  It is form a local firm that makes mattresses here and it is one of the very best.  The top zips off and you turn the foam pieces a few times a year - supposed to be monthly I think, but we probably did it closer to a few times a year.  The top part that zips off is a pillow top. That part has sunken in so the top of the bed has two indents.  I hated to have it like that with the kids going to use it for the next year.  So we stopped to see options - new mattress - rebuild this one - what was best.  They suggested redoing the zip off pillow top and turning the foam pieces and the actual innerspring.  So that is what we will do.  It is all good.

Then we headed out to buy a new washer and dryer.  We have nursed the old GE along for 28 years. We can make it work - dryer dials no longer work so have to set a phone alarm - washer is easily out of balance so have to stay close and no auto shut off - but the needs of a young, busy family would be to much for it.  We needed a new one anyway so that was next on the list.  I had done some research and knew I wanted a top loader that was tough.  I decided on a Speed Queen and once we got to the local place we found they were having a sale and they keep them in stock.  It will be here on Tuesday.  Not fancy but supposed to be durable.  We will see about that!

Also got an exciting new book in the mail - can't wait to dig into this one.  Wow - looks so interesting!

Things are moving along.  I hope I can keep up.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh, my!

Our son and daughter-in-law have sold their house and will close on the 30th of July.  Good news! And now we need to get serious about getting this house in order so they can move in for the next 8 or 9 months and we can move out to the "Gus" - our motorhome.   This is a picture of our Gus when he still had that TV thing on his head.  That is now long gone.

They are going to live here while their new house is being built and we are going to move our butts around the country here and there as the mood strikes in the motorhome.  I just told Bob that all I need is a sewing machine, my threads, fabric and some paints and I will be happy anywhere.  I will now have to put my money where my mouth is - so to speak.

Here are a couple of my sewing machines I have taken with us on past shorter escapades.  I have a little Janome Gem Platinum in the first picture and my Pfaff CV in the second picture.  Now I have a new Pfaff Performance 5.0 and a Pfaff Passport 2.0.   So which of those should I take?  I love them all and use them all.  And I also want to take my Babylock Evolution and my little Janome felting machine. Decisions!  Decisions!  Fortunately I have a very loving and supportive hubby who just wants me to be happy.   He has even offered space in his side of the closet.   But the good news is I am determined to only focus on my fiber art for the next 9 months once we take off. . . even if it is from the road.

Lots to do here  - lots to do - and lots to look forward to doing once we take off.  So exciting!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Back from our little journey . . .

We had a great time with the grandsons in the Black Hills area.  We saw Devil's Tower and Mt. Rushmore along with lots of gorgeous, lush, green landscape.  They have had a lot of rain over there this year it seems.  Now we are back to the business of enjoying life here.  No plans for the 4th of July - just enjoying the times.

And here is the waterpark at the hotel where we stayed.  It was fun to stay in the same place for several nights as we traveled around the area.  We always knew where we were coming at the end of each day and the grandsons loved the waterpak.  It was all good.

We also stopped on the way home to show them the new Scheels store in Billings.  It is amazing. Bob rode the big ferris wheel with them.  It is right in the middle of the store.  They also enjoyed watching and listening to Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson talk via the animated characters that are in the store.  As I was sitting waiting for them on the ride,  I got out my phone and decided to call Mom and share with her what a fun trip it had been.  Then I remembered.  She always loved hearing about what we were doing and how the boys were enjoying things.  It was hard for a moment and then it passed but the sense of another loss seems to have stayed with me.  The loss of my good friend.