Dear Grandchildren (74)

Dear Grandchildren,

Monday morning sky

Tuesday morning. Yesterday, I left early for Hawley with Kooper. He needed a booster shot. At the vet’s there were three other dogs. An older gentleman had an old golden retriever named “Barry.” I thought to myself, “Berry” might make a cute girl’s name. The other two dogs were a brown lab named “Jammer,” and his little buddy, a min-pin/chiuahua cross named “Peanut-butter.” Jammer pulled and broke away trying to visit Barry, and Peanut Butter followed. Jammer made a mess in the lobby. Kooper had marked a spot by the front desk, so out came a mop and a bag. Kooper did not want to go up on the scale. I placed his front paws up, but his butt and that whole back half of his being was “dead weight.” He was really skiddish, nervous, and resistant. I lifted hard and his weight is about 44#’s. I was surprised. You’d think he had become heavier in the battle. Kooper did not want to leave my side, but the vet tech gained a good tug to bring him to the back, and he decided to cooperate and marched back with her like a defeated prisoner. He was very excited to go as I paid, and very happy to hop in the Trailblazer to go home.

The rest of the day, I did my usual Monday routine, dishes, etc., and some laundry. It was 44°F, our “last warm day” for a while, I was told. There waa a brisk wind, though.

Tug & Enid

The painting was all framed and wired, so I wrapped a towel around it, and “sandwiched” it with taped masonite boards. I drove to UPS and purchased a box with the right dinensions, plus cushioning room. I put a piece of foam in the bottom, and placed the sandwich in the box. I stuffed strips of foam all around the sandwich, and found a pillow and pillow form for the top. I crushed 2 tubes for extra fill and taped it all shut. With a large marker I addressed the box and stored it in the back of the Trailblazer. Enid is visiting in another town till Sunday, so I will ship it on Thursday.

I prepared supper, as Josh stopped by to see the pups and pick up a couple packages. He talked about investments he has been busy with. I told him I’d like to do some, too, as I get paid. I sent two bags of turkey slices with him.

I was really spent yesterday, so it was my first “skipped” day since I started this. Today, I will have to do two posts to catch up.

I miss you, my Grandchildren, and look forward to seeing three of you this week, one today, and two in Little Canada on Thursday.



Postscript: Here is a link to a recent article on Tug.

Dear Grandchildren (73)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today, I probably rested more than I should’ve. Who knows except me what rest I need. I took a bubble bath right away this morning.

For my morning coffee, I added cocoa, a mint candy a dab of ice cream. I ate a breakfast croussant. Kooper liked that it was warm enough for me to have my breakfast outside with him.

I started to watch a movie a few times, but when I busied myself with dishes or something, GrpaRick would take over and start something else.

I placed the painting in the frame with a foamboard taped behind it. Stretch canvas is so vulnerable to tears, dents and punctures. For shipping, I am placing masonite boards as large as the outside of the frame front and back, to protect the whole piece. It really looks quite nice! I still have to photograph the completed piece with the frame before packing and shipping it. We are going to the cities later this week, so shipping costs will have to wait.

I researched how to get a reasonably priced silver tinsel tree. Years ago, Kyle’s birthtown had a major tinsel factory. All of the stores displayed vintage tinsel trees during our visit. Now the vintage ones are so popular that the prices are unreasonable. For now, I decided to just have a narrow new tinsel tree which had gone way down in price. I found vintage angel tinsel treetop from Italy that will really dress the Christmas tree up. I will hunt for glass and silver ornaments I mostly already have to complete the look.

The silver tinsel tree
Angel treetop from Italy

I am finding little reminders of Kyle every day. A friend here with Kyle was with Kyle when he bought a red Christmas tree. Kyle looks so happy in this photo.

Dan & Kyle

Tomorrow, I bring Kooper to the vet for a booster shot to prevent a type of viral pneumonia dogs get that can be fatal.

Stay healthy, my Grandchildren, there is so much to life to learn and enjoy! Times might get difficult, but the best memories surpass any of the bad times. It was heartbreaking to lose a son like Kyle. I really enjoyed all of the wondrous times we spent together! I just hope his spirit is happy knowing that I will always love, appreciate, and think of him.



“Shrek’s Christmas”

“Shrek’s Christmas” as written by Joshua Keeney, almost 20 years ago.

Santa’s elves are very upset. A terrible disaster has happened in the toy factory, today.

One of Santa’s cookies was a bomb, and Santa ate…It boomed!!!

Santa blew up with candy.

One of the elves named Shrek, an Ogre, did the same to Mrs. Claus.     

Princess Fiona is Mrs. Claus.

The reindeer crashed and then the dragon took over.

Next, the dragon bought hot, hot dogs.

“What about Christmas?” asked one of the elves. Don’t worry, the dragon is done making it summer with blowing fire out.

And, the kids in the world are having a disco party in the shop, today.

They’re having delicious candy cane fudge.

Later, the fairy tales will be here, too.

But, the Ginger-bread-man is going to be here first.

Shrek sang bop! hop! boobie! flip! stop!

This is not Christmas! Christmas is living your family and opening your presents.

And, playing in the snow and making snowmen.

Christmas is about love.

“I want to be with my family,” said a kid named Josh.

And, the kids cried, “I want my mommy.”

“For Pete’s sake!” said Shrek.

“I’m shocked. I need to be with my family, too.”

“Let’s be with our families.” said Shrek.

Christmas is more than love, it’s loving.

“Let’s go home and open our presents.” said Shrek.

And, they lived happily ever after.

Dear Grandchildren (72)

Dear Grandchildren,

Right now I am holding my youngest granddaughter, Breeze, who is almost 3 months old. She is sleeping in my arms. Her mom and dad are visiting family at a hotel in town. GrpaRick is here, too. Their Christmas tree was up, so I spread its branches out some and plugged the lights in.

Earlier, we were at Great-grandma Bertha’s place for a get-together Great-Aunt Cheryl planned. We had lasagna, some salad, some sides, wine and pie for dessert. Uncles Matt and Nick showed up, too.


Cradling my Granddaughter
B & W

Not much else happened, today. We stopped at two stores to find a few things for ice fishing and to prepare Enid’s painting for its trip to Montana. It should be all ready before Monday.

Hope you all had a nice pleasant day, my Grandchildren! Much of you, I will see soon…later this next week.



Dear Grandchildren (71)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today seemed like Monday, as GrpaRick worked all day, as usual, yet, following a holiday day off. I chose to not go anywhere among the crowds shopping, today. I mailed off a postcard to Aunt Kaira, and a check to pay to a creditor.

This morning’s sky

Downtown Fargo calls this day after Thanksgiving “Plaid Friday.” If you go shopping wearing red and black “Buffalo Plaid” you get a discount or bonus at some of their businesses or stores. I am not sure when this started, but I guess it has become an annual thing.

I cleaned alot today, since there were 2 sinks of dishes, pots and pans, plus, a large roaster to clean and put away. Cooking three turkeys and sides can really put a demand on kitchen space. We have a freezer full of cooked, sliced turkey, now.

First thing, I did after dishes, was to finish  Great-aunt Enid’s painting of her and Tug. I took a snapshot of it, and sent an image to Enid in a message. She liked it. Next, we will spray it to preserve the paint, and frame it, before shipping it off to her. I am going to make sure the canvas is all pretty solidly protected.

The painting, complete
The frame I chose…

After I finished the painting, Kooper and I sat outside, and I briefly spotted a Cardinal. It disappeared too quickly to photograph, those elusive Cardinals!

The rest of today was real quiet and peaceful. I relished the tranquility of the day. I felt like I had really accomplished something!

Me, on my first Christmas

Be proud of your triumphs, my Grandchildren, whether they are big or small, impactful, or “baby steps,” it is all good, and you are “enough!” I love each of you so much! Remember that! Do good works! You are each one person, yet, you are enough!

Be kind, considerate, and helpful! Team up, when needed or necessary, so joint efforts can accomplish even more, when circumstances demand more than you alone can give!



Dear Grandchildren (70)

Dear Grandchildren,

Happy Thanksgiving! So, many of you had a Thursday with family. GrpaRick and I stayed at home with our pups. Aunt Kaira called. She was preparing an orange cranberry sauce. Kaira asked me about my Bundt pans. See photos below to see my varied collection of “Bundt” pans.

Kaira’s drawing from 1995 Calendar

I know Jaci and the Little Canada girls were going to Jaci’s aunt in Wisconsin. Josh, Sommer and Breeze are spending a quiet holiday at home. And, most likely, Kevin and Abby and their boys are at Abby’s folks, as they usually do.

GrpaRick was planning on smoking three turkeys. The smoker had moisture in with the pellets, which froze and damaged the auger, a part that moves the pellets in the area that smokes the meat. Since it was unfixable at the moment, we took out a large electric roaster and a large roasting pan for the oven. Our dilemma was solved! I made stuffing with asparagus, airfried potatoes, and a berry sauce. We had ice cream for desert with the berry sauce. Not totally traditional, but satisfying nonetheless.


We are looking forward to warmer temps for the weekend, which means 40°F or better. To us, at almost December, that is warm enough. A matter of perspective. GrpaRick was watching Canadian fishing shows, and their “small” fish look massive to us Minnesota fishing people. Perspective.

Not sure what I will do tomorrow when most people work. I think I will avoid the stores and their “Black Friday” sales. Josh used to drag me out on those for new video games and systems a few years ago. It is just not my cup of tea…I was a “good mom!” I perhaps spoiled him some, but he earned a bit of spoiling as he was a “good kid” most of the time.

Well, now I am 65, so I feel I have earned the peace and quiet of the world GrpaRick and I live in. I hope to be around to enjoy your many milestones, my beloved Grandchildren, for many years to come.



Snowflake Mini-Bundt, Butterfly Bundt
Ginger-lady Bundt 1/2
Gingerbread Man Bundt 2/2
Retro MCM Bundt
Bundt Bites
Mini-Bundts, wired together
Assorted Mini-Bundts (1)
Assorted Mini-Bundts (2)
Souffle pan under Christmas Tree Bundt
Christmas Tree Bundt
A Stack of 6 Bundts
Muffin size Bundts

Dear Grandchildren (69)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today was Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, if there is such a thing! GrpaRick is smoking three turkeys overnight, tonight. This morning, I mailed off my “Norske Ting” gift and cards, plus, I sent a Marketplace sale item at the post office.

I was paid, today, so I caught up on some bills and transferred some money into GrpaRick’s account. He had purchased “Eskimo” brand buffalo plaid ice fishing rods a couple weeks ago, so he had to get better reels to match, today. He is getting excited and anxious for the lakes to freeze.

I bought Christmas knitted initialed stockings for Josh, Sommer and Breeze. The Target store nearest to us is under “stocked” in its Christmas stockings, so to speak, so I had to run to the Fargo Target which was a real “zoo!” Their parking lot was full. I found a “Granddaughter’s First Christmas” card, and a cute, rocking giraffe, which was a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament.

The rest of my purchases were essentuals, bills, plus, a partial fill of my empty gas tank. I really did not get much done, today.

It was so cold and windy… it felt good to get back to a warm home and the pups. I picked up a new thick blanket for Reggie, and threw his old ones in the wash.

“Borrowed” post

I hope you all stayed bundled up and cozy warm, today, my Grandchildren. I love and think of each of you everyday!



Dear Grandchildren (68)

Dear Grandchildren,

Today started out a bit windy, chilly, and partly cloudy. The trees were filled with Starlings huddled together. The sparrows come really close to the deck as I sit there.

Morning Sky

I put two packages of fish in the crockpot for supper. I will be making fish tacos, tonight.

I belong to a Norske Ting sisterhood site on Facebook. Every year I do a gift exchange. The ornament I made yesterday is going to a gal in Washington state. I also send 14 greeting cards to a list of “Sisters.” We were asked to share recipes, so I hand-wrote my mom’s recipe for “Gr. Grandma’s Sweet Soup,” with her name.

Gr. Grandma’s Sweet Soup
(Vivian Jean Hettervig)
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup minute tapioca (large)

Add tapioca to boiling water,
Add rest of ingredients and simmer.

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 cups grape juice
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup currants
1 cup raisons
1 cup stoned prunes
1 cup chopped apples
(May add additional dried fruit, as desired.)

My mom’s tin recipe file

We also tell about who we are, our ancestors, and our families, in a letter. I typed and printed a letter to enclose in the card. The ladies on my list live in Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, California, New York, West Virginia, Texas, and one person in Oslo, Norway. I have already received 2 cards. One is from a cousin. It is fun to read their stories! I also sent a card, recipe, and letter to the gal I made the ornament for. Tomorrow, I will be going to the post office to mail these, plus, other items I need to send.

The evening sky was really beautiful!

Evening Sky

I hope your day went well, my Grandchildren, and you took in the beauty of today’s sky!



Dear Grandchildren (67)

Dear Grandchildren,

Another Monday. It was mostly cloudy, but a bit warmer as the weather turned bringing air from the southwest. Kooper was able to roll in the grass, again. I painted a while as I watched the morning news shows. A young man who had brought his nephews to a parade west of Milwaukee was interviewed. He witnessed an SUV speeding through the crowd towards him. He quickly moved his little nephews out of danger. Five people lost their lives and several children are in critical condition. This had happened just yesterday.

Painting, so far…

So many sad, scary, and terrifying things happening in your world, my grandchildren. I pray everday that all of you are held safely out of harms way. Grandson Mark received his first Covid-19 vaccination. The youngest children under 5 years still have to wait. The hospitals in Minnesota are filled almost to full capacity and the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations is higher than the peak number last December. These are primarily people who are unvaccinated.

After painting, I cut out a craft item. I traced a Minnesota shape and cut fabric in the shape. One side has sayings like “Uffda” & “you betcha.” The other side had rosemaled fabric. After sewing it right sides together, I turned the fabric and stuffed it. I sewed a loop so the ornament could be hung. I placed it on a red checkered teatowel and tied them with a gold ribbon. They are in an addressed heavy envelope, ready for mailing to a “Norske Ting” sister for a gift exchange.

Craft Item
Craft Item

I did little else today. I watched a movie about a teacher who was challenged with Tourette’s Syndrome. It was a true story. The people who became his friends and students were able to appreciate his genuineness, his strengths, and his talents.

I will close this for today, sending group hugs and much love to you, my Grandchildren.



Dear Grandchildren (66)

Dear Grandchildren,

A cold Sunday morning, with sunshine and some overnight wind which settled down by daybreak. I had placed a spiral ham in the crockpot last evening, so ham was part of our breakfast. I mixed and fried up pancakes. Added to them I had apricot and wild berry preserves, plus syrup.

I dyed my hair to cover up my “snow on the mountain” grey hair which had extended beyond my roots. At 65, I am still not ready to give up my original strawberry-blonde to auburn hair color.

Grmaval at a “Fargo” premiere

We dropped off “Christmas in Heaven” lanterns for Kevin and his dad. We watched a “Star Wars” lip-sync video spoof with Mark, and watched Ryan play with his cars and trucks. He layed down in a box on a cushion with his “Mingy.”

One of my “Christmas in Heaven” lanterns

Next, we watched the Vikings almost lose to the Green Bay Packers, and turn things around for a win, just before a possible overtime. Breeze is really trying to talk. She holds herself up on her hands and elbows with her head high during tummy time on her rug. Breeze was smiling and almost laughing when GrpaRick sang, “If you’re happy and you know it…” to her.

Breeze, yesterday, with Santa

Not much else today…a quick stop at the grocery store and Arby’s for a take-home supper. We watched a Hallmark Channel Rom-com. Our neighbor’s gas water heater had been leaking to GrpaRick helped turn her gas-line off. Then, Rick decided to watch Stallone in the first Rambo, before retiring.

Enjoy everyday my Grandchildren! It was fun to see some of you, today!



Kyle in his garage. He is so missed!