Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Lake Le Homme Dieu Fish Story - It's a Whopper!

Here's a northern pike from Lake Le Homme Dieu in 1908. As a result of overfishing, you can't find them like this anymore. Although I'd be careful.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another sign of spring . . .

. . . guys in crotch rockets getting pulled over for speeding. The cop is checking his ID. How embarrassing, you can't even slouch in your car while all the gawkers drive by.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Signs of Spring

Alexandria spring is always about 2 weeks behind the Cities, but there were still some good signs of spring. Today around Lake Ida there were lots of robins eating nicely fermented crabapples, killdeer flying overhead with their "Kill-deer! Kill-deer!" call, and redwing blackbird males, already staking their claim in the pond behind Bedman's. Here are some other signs of spring:
A pair of ducks taking off at Lake Carlos, by the Carlos-Darling bridge.
Pussy willow on our walk. One year on Palm Sunday our minister thought that it would be more authentic to pass out pussy willows to everyone in the congregation in lieu of palm branches. One of the choir members looked quizzically at his and said, "Walk softly and carry a big pussy willow?" We were cracking up.
The Lake Ida to Lake Charley creek is quite full of water, and noisy with Canada geese couples.
A nice sunset over Lake Carlos on the north end, near the State Park. We ate at Anderson's Outpost and were on our way home. The ice is turning black now on all the lakes, with large open areas where the creeks come in.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Random Thoughts in March

My dad Lester's birthplace is for sale on Jefferson St. in Alexandria. He was born in that upstairs bedroom (see window on the right, by the chimney). The house was owned by Lester's grandparents John and Selma (Granlund) O'Brien, after they passed down the O'Brien farm near Nelson to their son Erwin.
"Things that can't be used in March", or "Why we have to park outside"
Although the snowblower might still get a workout. It's happened before.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Blizzard, 1965

Okay, obviously this isn't a photo from 1965, it's the OTHER legendary Minnesota blizzard, the Armistice Day blizzard. But it's 45 years since the St. Patrick's Day blizzard of 1965, and 45 years since our dad Lester died at the age of 45. The numbers seemed to be important to me today.
I was thinking about how mom had walked a long way in that deep snow, during the middle of the night, because she got dropped off by the funeral home director quite far from home. He didn't want to get the hearse stuck. By the time she reached our driveway, she was suffering from hypothermia, and really couldn't have gone much farther. The stubborn tenacity she had (and still has) is what got her home. I'm thankful for that. Here she is 45 years later, still surviving.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Poem (or two) of Spring in Minnesota

In my box of special things that mom saved from my school days is a poem that I must have written in 4th grade. (It's in cursive.) Spring inspired me to write "When there's no icicles, There'll be bicycles." And so today that was true.
I have another poem inspired by this year's weather.
WINTer WINter WInter Winter
winter spring winter winter SPRING
winter spring spring SNOW spring
Because we all know there will be more snow in there somewhere.
Chuck was then inspired to write this one about Gotland.
WINTER WINTER WINter spring spriing spriiing spriiing SPRING SPRIING SUMMER FALL.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Perfect Cat Toy/Owner Toy

I think I was inspired by the black lights in the Pooh ride at DisneyWorld. Or those news reports showing the invisible creepy stuff that's on hotel bedspreads. I ordered a CSI flashlight online. It has a three in one feature: UV light (black light), regular white light, and a laser pointer. The laser pointer is fun for the cat, and the black light is fun for the cat owner. After dark I went around the house like Gil Grissom - in the dark with the UV light. Didn't find anything of note. That was good news. I did notice that if you shine it in your mouth, you can easily see which of your teeth are crowns. And there was a hairball in the family room behind a chair, but I could have seen that without the UV light. Then we played with the laser pointer. Frankie loved it. It's been an entertaining evening for the whole family.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two Dozen Roses and Norwegian Genealogy

I helped a woman from California trace her family tree back to the 1600's with the help of the Bygdeboker I have from Gulen, Norway. (Farm and family history books, 3 volumes). Her father was born in that parish, as were Chuck's great-grandparents.
Yesterday, on a rainy, dreary day, I came home to find that UPS had delivered 2 dozen colorful roses as a thank you from Barbara in California. As it happens in Gulen and the Gulafjord area, since it was such an isolated fjord area, she turned out to be Chuck's 4th cousin.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March is Ugly

I almost wish for snow. March is the ugliest month in Minnesota.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ari's Birthday Cake With Grandma

Tracy brought confetti angelfood, strawberries and cool whip, so we could celebrate Arielle's birthday with Grandma, and spoil her lunch by having dessert first.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

China - in Alexandria

We went out for a little Chinese last night.
Take-out from the Great Hunan Restaurant.

Friday, March 5, 2010

March Thaw

April showers bring May flowers, but March thaws flood the driveway and the downhill neighbors.

We got to Alex and the driveway was filled with melted water - Chuck had to rev up the snowblower and cut a path through the ice and snow to let it drain. Any opportunity for a guy to use power tools.

The sun is getting nice and warm!