Friday, September 04, 2009

Wednesday - or as we called it Bri's day

Guess what we had for breakfast??? Yep, same old same old. This was the day we planned to take Bri for a drive. I had to stop and email the pics as well as download a few geocaches in Minnesota to add to our day. We left Bri and Melly at the hotel while we went to pick up Auntie Dee since we were going to have to drive right by the hotel anyway.

On to Flandreau, where we saw a covered wagon train going through the main part of town. The first wagon said something about Pipestone days on the side of it. We went to check out a geocache we had missed the last time we were in the area, but we still didn’t have much luck with this one.

We drove to Pipestone and the Pipestone National Monument. Melly slept all the way there and also while we walked the ¾ mile trail around the park. We stopped and took pictures of flowers and other interesting sites. The two ladies sat in the car and Melly stayed with them. The weather was nice enough for that and we left them in the shade with the windows down. Auntie Dee did worry when we were gone. She thought something had happened to us. We stopped by the pond where the Hiawatha pageant in held every year and took pictures of the rocks there.

A lady that works at the assisted living home told us to go to Lange’s café in Pipestone. She told us that they had great pie. I didn’t think we would be able to find this specific place, especially as I couldn’t remember the name of it. But as we were driving around (looking for a geocache) we found the café and bakery. They have their pie in a display case at the front and one of the pies that was obvious was Sour Cream Raisin with Meringue. My all time favorite pie. Bri and I shared a meal so we could have dessert. Melly slept through most of the meal. Auntie Dee of course wasn’t hungry, but could eat a sundae. They had really good food and the best type of ice. They brought us a pitcher of water and Bri and I drank most of it.

We found one geocache and then a second one before heading out of town. We were back on the road in no time and realized we still had quite a while before we were supposed to meet Russ in Sioux Falls. Melly had slept when we crossed the state line so we had to find a state line sign to get her picture by. We drove into Jasper and weren’t sure if we had missed the sign but then we noticed a sign that said “State Line three miles”. We took a little detour just so we could take a picture by the sign.

Enough time for Garretson and Devil’s Gulch. This place is great and the cost is right; it is free. We left a donation and we also left the ladies in the car. Melly came with us this time and we walked the ½ mile loop around the Gulch. Afterward we parked the car close enough to the sign and made them get out so we could get a picture of all of us near the sign. All we had to do was balance the camera on the car and set the timer. Not the best, but not too bad either.

Arriving in Sioux Falls and we still had over an hour so we drove to Falls Park. We were hoping to get Madders a gift, but they didn’t have anything she would enjoy. We did take some pics at the top of the observation tower and near the falls. Again, our two ladies didn’t get out of the car and Melly was asleep again.

We got to the restaurant almost 30 minutes early, but Russ showed up early as well so we were able to get seated quickly. We ate and visited until almost eight P.M. It was a nice leisurely meal and we were near the bathroom and away from the main flow of traffic.

Ahead of us was the drive back to Madison, on to Mone town then back to Madison. We dropped off Bri and Melly as Melly was getting tired of being in the car. She had been really good for most of the day and had even let her mom enjoy her meal, she just sat in a high chair while we ate.

Knowing we had to pack up and wanted to get away early the next morning we didn’t want to stay up too late.

What's good about Tuesday?

Breakfast was the same, again we dropped Bri and Melly off. This time we picked up Terrie before we picked up Auntie Dee. Then we drove to Sioux Falls. We planned on meeting Terry’s daughter-in-law at one for lunch and we had about an hour to kill so we drove farther south and drove by their house and also around the graveyard where their baby daughter was buried just a short time ago. Terry showed us a photo album the hospital had put together for them as a memento of this little angel. She explained that they were able to hold her and spend time with her before they had to let her go. They were dealing very well with their loss. She told us about a dragon fly and also a butterfly that visited them at their homes after her death. She felt that these two incidents weren’t mere coincidence that they were both a sign from their little angel to let them know she is alright.

For lunch Auntie Dee told us she wasn’t hungry – something we had heard everytime we talked about food. She did tell us she could eat dessert though. I gave her part of my meal and then she had a little sundae. She also drank some Pepsi, but didn’t like it too well. She is not used to fountain sodas and so it tasted funny to her.

We drove back to Madison and stopped to visit Tessie before going to the picnic that had been arranged. The weather prediction was for rain, but by that evening it was perfect. It was amazing the number of people that showed up for this impromptu affair. It was potluck and the table was loaded with all sorts of dishes and way too many different desserts. We took pictures of different groups and some candid shots. We got pictures with Melly and some of her cousins. We also took a picture of mom and her brother and sister. Afterward Uncle Joe’s daughter took Auntie Dee back to Mone town, which saved us another trip and allowed us to go to bed a little early. Well that was the plan, but abe called me and told me that we needed to email some pics from the Boy Scout Encampment to someone. This would have been easy except that the internet connection in the room was not working. I fought with it for about thirty minutes before I realized that it was no use and finally went to bed about midnight.

Monday, Monday

Breakfast at the hotel – biscuits and gravy, sausage, and waffles. Then we dropped Bri and Melly off with GG Abraham. GG Carter and I traveled to Mone town to spend the day with Auntie Dee. We picked up Auntie Dee and took her to Uncle Joe’s home. He wanted to take his sisters to lunch so we loaded up two walkers and one cane and drove to the local café. They have senior “dinner” (which is at noon). For three dollars they each got a small bowl of grapes and cantaloupe, a hamburger patty, mixed veggies, a baked potato, a slice of bread and a cup of milk. Quite a bargain, since I’m not a senior yet they brought me a half hot beef sandwich – one slice of bread with sliced roast beef, a scoop of mashed potatoes covered in nice brown gravy, no sign of a vegetable anywhere. It was really good though and the waitress brought me a fruit cup just to be nice.

After lunch we loaded everyone up and went for a drive. We drove up the hill and by the rock, then past the cemetery and on to Lake Badus. As we were driving we remembered that Aunt Mary’s old house was not standing where it was supposed to be. It was there in June when we came back to visit but this time when we drove by the only thing left were the trees and the windmill. We decided to drive up the driveway and see what had happened to the house. I left the sisters and brother in the car and walked over to the house. It was obvious that it had been burned. Apparently the land had been sold recently and the new owners were trying to clear the land. The only thing left is the rock basement. I took a few pictures and we were down the road to Lake Badus and the Badus cemetery. Next we drove by Auntie Dee’s home where we stopped and took pictures of her red kitchen ceiling.

The next leg of our trip took us by the Lutheran church and on to Madison where we drove past the golf course and Prairie Village then through Lake Herman State Park. Our next stop was at McDonald’s, it was around three P.M. and all of the handicapped parking was taken so we parked as best as possible and unloaded two walkers and one cane and went inside. We all had a hot fudge sundae with nuts and a small glass of water. At quite a few tables there were people sitting around playing cards.

We loaded back up and returned to Mone town to drop off Uncle Joe. We had to stop at the assisted living home to pick up some stamps. While we were pulling out we noticed some people standing there and realized that they were relatives so we had to stop and visit with them. One of them had come all the way from St. Paul to spend time with mom since she was in the area.

Then we drove back towards Madison and stopped at one of mom’s old friends along the way. She showed us a book that she had written from her years of teaching in one room schools. During part of that time she taught at the Abraham school and actually had abe as one of her students. She had pictures in this book as well and we asked her if we could get a copy of it. We plan on visiting with her another year and going through the pictures she has, some of them from her high school years with mom as a young girl and others from her teaching years. Her memory is extremely sharp and it will be fun to see what she remembers from teaching abe and his brother.

GG Abraham brought supper to us in the hotel. Afterwards we took Auntie Dee back to Mone town and visited with Aunt Florene for a few minutes before returning back to get some sleep before our next thrilling day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Day at a Time

nmnmnm,mn,nm,nm,,, , (Melly wrote this and so this must be what she thinks about air travel and SD)

After leaving cool town a little later than we planned we arrived at the airport and walked right up to the counter to check in. We were there in plenty of time, but then the plane ended up leaving almost an hour late. While we were waiting we noticed that they gave us different seats than the ones we had requested. They would have been okay except we needed two aisle seats and they put us all on the same row. Since we had to pay extra for choosing seats I did ask them why they moved us. They ended up putting us in the front row, which has a few benefits - more leg room, but your carry on stuff has to be stowed overhead as there is no where to store it under the seat in front of you.

Even though we were an hour late taking off, we arrived only about 30 minutes late. The flight was great for the most part and melly slept most of the trip. We took some great pictures of clouds, and letters we could see on the ground, etc. I wanted to post some of these wonderful pics, but my card reader isn't working so we'll have to see what we can find in the thriving metropolis we are in.

To our hotel and now time to relax - more tomorrow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good news for Abe

We called Garmin to find out what hope we had of restoring our broken GPS unit. They were very friendly and told me that we just need to send it in as it is still under warranty. So only the cost of shipping to repair it. Quite a substantial savings.

I also asked them about our other two units, they had both quit working about the same time last fall which really didn't make sense. I told them what they were doing and the tech told me that he could solve that problem easily. He told me that the government had change something about their satellites which made the WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) function not work, the unit would then shut down. He said the solution was simple - just turn off WAAS or update the software and they would work again.

So now we should be set and it only took a thirty minute phone call.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Camping and serving

So several months ago one of the men in CG asked us to help with a Boy Scout Encampment in June. They wanted us to do a geocaching activity for the Varsity scouts. You can imagine this peaked my interest and so we readily agreed. We went to the area in May and picked out places to put our caches. We were told to go across Long Lake from the boat ramp and set up there. So we drove the very primitive road around the lake to the far side and found perfect places for our three - two part caches. Plus a practice cache. I wrote a story with clues for the boys and encrypted the entire thing. They would get the decoder at the first cache and then have to solve to find the second part. We had to do three different caches as there would be three groups on each of the three days that we were there - nine groups in all. So needless to say I had to create three different puzzles and then encrypt each of them. I spent well over ten hours doing all of this. Fast forward to June 1st.

We got to the mountains late afternoon as we had to take one of the scouts with us. After finding a campsite and getting everything set up we made supper. At about eight o'clock it started to get cold. I decided to go into the tent and read a book until bedtime. During the night it got really cold - low 40s and we had to rethink the way we had our bed made.

The next morning it was nice and warm as we were making breakfast in complete contrast to the night before. We got to the lake early to set everything up. It was at this moment that we realized that this lake has two boat ramps. The first ramp - which we didn't notice the last time we were here - made a lot more sense as the correct side as the lake was narrower here. So we drove around the other end of the lake and got to where we knew they would float across in the rafts that they would make. It was also way too far to where we had originally marked our places. The places that would go along with the encrypted clues that I had spent so much time on. So, plan B. We picked out new places and I went ahead and quickly created some math problems then encrypted those. The theme was Book of Mormon- the Power Within so we went with clues like - Take the number of Stripling Soldiers and divide that by 20... We watched the first group build their rafts and paddle over to us. Our cool boys made it across first.

As the other two teams arrived we asked the leaders if they had brought their shoes, or their gps units. They had some shoes, but no gps units. Fortunately we had two so we had the boys with shoes go in two groups and gave them directions on how to locate the caches.

We asked them to tell the raft instructor to tell the groups on the next two days that they needed to bring shoes and their gps units.

After this wild and crazy day we went back to our campsite and grilled a steak and sauteed vegetables with rice. Back in bed by eight as it was getting cold again (for this desert rat). We had noticed the cattle mooing the night before and this night they were even louder. The moon was getting full and the coyotes were also howling, the elk was bugling. It was a long noisy night.

The next day we decided to go do a little geocaching of our own in the area. We found an area with four caches within a short distance in a beautiful canyon area. One of the caches referenced this bridge which was part of the old highway. While I was signing the log, abe was holding the gps and it slipped out of his hand. It only dropped a few feet, but landed just wrong. The screen ended up burned out. This didn't make for a very happy day for him. We went back to our side of the lake and waited for our second group of boys. This group was small and we only sent out two teams again. Most of them had their shoes this time. We loaded up the makings of one of the rafts into our truck and took it around to the other side as it was too windy for them to actually paddle it back. During this adventure we managed to lose one of the center covers of our wheel - not a big thing, but now we are missing two.

Back to our campsite and we noticed that the ranch which was just a mile or so to the east of us must have released some water because we were now close to a stream. To add to our cattle elk coyote serenade we now had frogs croaking.

Thursday morning - our last day. I had left my phone off the entire time hoping that everything was going okay at home. abe told me that he was getting a signal in camp so I decided to go ahead and see if my phone was working. Just as it connected I noticed that I had a voice message. It was work telling me I needed to call the principal to straighten something out. I had to make two phone calls to set everything right. Amazing how the phone worked at just the right time.

When we got to the lake we visited with the raft instructor before going around the lake. The wind was extremely strong and the first try at raft building was not successful. In fact one of the rafts ripped apart as soon as it hit the water and two of the barrels that they were using floated over to us. They finally were able to try something different and made it over to us. This time we had three groups so the third time worked the best.

We ended up at M&S house before we came home and went on a caching adventure there - but that is another long story.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A few May flowers

At first glance - you see cherry blossoms - then you notice the nice long thorns among the beautiful flowers. So you know better than to put your nose too close for a sniff.

Just an ironwood blooming - telling abe that it is time to go fish the big cats in the salt river - or so the legend goes.

We have had too many dry years here and so with a wet Spring the saguaros are trying to make up for time lost by putting on flowers everywhere. They are very interesting indeed this year.

The desert is truly putting on its finest and we have been able to go out to enjoy it all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


If you look at the deliciousness that is in this picture you see raisin filled dumplings wrapped in Swiss Chard and covered with bacon drippings and bacon bits. A familly dish that our SD relatives used to make. From the Swiss side of the family that is and this recipe is what Aunt Florene gave me during a phone call. Just don't try to find this listed anywhere else, except in a Ramona SD cookbook.
The recipe
Take large swiss chard leaves and wash well. Set aside and make dough.
3 cups of flour
3 eggs
1 tsp of salt
3 cups of raisins
1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk (to make a soft dough)
Mix together and spoon large teaspoon full of dough onto the top of chard leaf. Roll tightly tucking in ends (like making a burrito) We usually end up doubling this amount to fill our six quart stock pot.
Place a few extra leaves into the bottom of a large stock pot. Place the tightly rolled bundles into pot. Cover with boiling salted water (don't overfill or it will boil over when you are cooking capoons) then cover pot. Return to heat and cook for 20-25 minutes. Drain
Cook and crumble one pound of bacon, drain reserving some of the grease. Pour the bacon grease and crumbles over the top and serve. If you don't have bacon you can just put a little melted butter on top.
Don't worry about leftovers as they reheat nicely.

The Oregon trail to Canada

Thanks Alex's Human and Chester Copperpot. We had a great time on our journey. We've got to come back to hike the rest of Silver Falls - leaving out these 76 steps.
Even if it rained all day Easter, we still were able to enjoy the nature that you showed us.

Visiting Herman the Sturgeon at the Salmon Hatchery on the Columbia River

Multnomah Falls were an awesome sight.

After two days near Portland we went North to visit our Bear. We went to the Seattle Underground and enjoyed the tour while we learned a little fun history about the area.

We also managed to take one day and drive to the ocean. It was too cold to even think about putting our toes in the surf.
After spending a couple of days with the Bear's we drove the rest of the way to Blaine, Washington. Time to get to work, with a little time to enjoy the beauty that is Washington. Our favorite was this eagle who was sitting there on two different occasions.
We'll have to come back sometime when the weather is a little less rainy. Oh, and by the way Alex's Human it wasn't allergies to green - I caught a cold but thanks to ZiCam was able to get over it in just a few days.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A day in the desert

Okay, so this year we have taken as many opportunities to get out and enjoy the desert as possible before the heat arrives. Spring Break weekend, mom took it seriously and broke her wrist. We did manage to get out a couple of times and do a little geocache/hiking between spending time taking care of her. Last Saturday was an annual geocaching event and we went out with some friends to play in the desert and be with other geocache geeks from our part of th world. We also spent a lot of time pulling cholla out of our feet and legs. The joys of the desert!

Today G'rat and purplelurple asked us to watch the kids so they could dress up and go to the ren fair. With perfect weather we decided to go out and see what the bloomin' cactus and wildflowers looked like this week. We saw lots of squirrels, a fox and a whole plethora of butterflies. There were hawks flying everywhere. The entire world seemed happy today. We started the day with a cache near Flo town called "you have cacti in your what?" We ended the day 8 caches later with Gav walking a little too close to a jumping cactus and having to wait while grandpa pulled cholla out of his posterior. Fortunately none of it was too deep, just one prong in his hand which we had to carefully remove with some pliers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pics to make Leaner jealous

Notice the perfect clouds in the background

The wildflowers are amazing near Superior and down towards Tucson

Last of all we almost ran into this guy when we were walking along a desert trail. Fortunately I spotted him before I took my next step which would have been about six inches from his head.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Caching and Caving

We decided to take the oldest granddaughters to Kartchner Caverns for their birthday gift this year. So on a perfect day in March we got in the truck and drove the two hours to the park. We got there too early so we decided not to take the time to do some geocaching. Rhayn found most of the caches, but we all found some - eleven in all.

Girls at a geoccache spot, which rock is the cache behind?

Sitting in a tree outside of the Discovery center. It was a perfect tree for posing.

Standing by a stalagmite in the discovery zone. Okay it isn't real, but you can't touch the real ones, so it is the best you can get. You can't take cameras into the caves either so we thought we better take pictures while we were waiting for our tour.

After a long day we stopped at Cracker Barrel and ate and ate and ate. My camera was set incorrectly so some of the pictures came out pretty blurry.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Photo Tag

Okay so I decided it would be fun to look and see what the sixth picture in the sixth folder was even though I wasn't officially tagged.

This picture is from February 2003. Those two cute little guys are Gavin and Brendon. We are sand sledding not too far from home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day

We had decided two weeks ago that we wanted to take the grandkids and go play in the snow. We had watched M&S playing with their children and sliding down a nice snow hill in the White Mountains. So since we had two girls for the weekend, we asked to borrow three more kids. It worked out perfectly. G'rat and purplelurple could spend a day without any children, JVA and SLA had Saturday off, so did dacheese and SP. So abe and I loaded up six grandchildren in two cars and drove to M&S's home. He took the twins and one boy, I took the girls and one boy. In our car we sang Silly Songs the entire way. Rhayn had a four CD set with such songs - 80 in all. The best part is they are camp songs and I knew most of them. Nothing better than - "the Quartermaster's Store" or "What did Delaware?" we can't forget my all time favorite "The other day I met a Bear". It was dark as we drove through the Salt River Canyon, and I told the kids that they would be scared if they could see how deep this canyon actually was. When I was young this was one of the scariest roads in the world to me.

We arrived late and after eating supper we tried to get settled in for the night. We weren't overly successful at this as the kids were too wound up. After having a short night the previous evening, I really was hoping that they would sleep in. This was just a pipe dream and the kids were awake way too early. We had Madders in the room we were in and she spent the night rubbing her feet on my arm.

After breakfast we loaded up and drove to the hill. The kids helped carry sleds and inner tubes and other slidey things up the hill. They didn't stop to ask what to do, and none of them even thought for a moment about anything, they just started sliding down and climbing up. Even madders was willing to ride down and we took turns taking them down and walking back up. Some of the kids went with JVA and SLA to the steeper part of the hill. The best part was watching abe sliding down like a twelve year old. He was flying down the hill and had a great time.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect - over 40 degrees and sunny with no wind. We spent two hours sliding down and climbing up. Everyone took turns and we didn't suffer too many wipeouts. Melly slept the entire time bundled up in a blanket.

We had pizza and other delicious things at a local pizzeria. Then back to M&S to pack everything up. Loaded everyone up for the long ride home. The twins slept most of the way home. When we got to the Salt River Canyon I told the kids we were entering the (dramatic pause and drumroll) Canyon of DEATH. Then when we crossed the bridge I told them we were crossing the Bridge of DEATH. Since the girls were asleep in the other car we didn't want to stop. So we got to Miami before we stopped to let everyone get out to use the bathroom.

It was early when we got home, but we were all pretty tired and ready to relax. A few books and it was lights out for the girls. G'rat told us the his went to bed without any complaint.

So now I am going to round up some winter things for our next snow day. We'll keep our eyes open for great end of the year sales so next time we can have a few things to keep the kids a little dryer and warmer.