Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's Her Party...Happy Birthday, Sis!

Celebrating our birthdays together is very important to the both of us. You see, our Mom was not one who made much of a big deal of birthdays as we were growing up. We were allowed ONE party with our friends during the years birth to college...ONE! We did get to choose our yearly birthday meal, however, and Mom would cook that for us as well as a baking a cake. But now that we are big girls, we want to party, party, party! We choose a theme for the gifts we give (she did gifts with a TIME theme for my past birthday, and I did her theme of SLEEPOVERS- and what might be needed for them including fancy pj's, a Dreamgirls CD, the book SLEEPING BEAUTY, a sleepover kit, etc.) We had a blast of a time, and yes, it did turn into a sleepover! Surprise!! My sis requested going to a movie before eating. We saw BECAUSE I SAID SO and it was so-so. (A note to Anne here: please let me know if I ever go too far with smothering mothering!) Dinner out at La Sorella was delicious, topped by a delectable chocolate oooh-it's- so-good birthday cakette. And singing! Here she is with all her goodies! Ain't she sumthin'? (Any readers of this blog are encouraged at this point to post a little note of birthday cheer right here on my spot...I know she reads this and would get a kick out of being remembered by those near and far!) Happy Birthday, Sis! I love you!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Wearin' o' the Green

Wes and I decided to spend part of St. Paddy's Day with my Mom. She surprised us by wearing a green shirt in honor of the occasion! Wes always likes to see how "with it" she is, so this is their preliminary conversation on the subject: Wes: "Vera, do you like St. Patrick's Day?" Vera: "No, I don't." Wes: "Why not?" Vera: "Because there's no Swedish Day!" (I could've pointed out here that Santa Lucia Day is kind of a Swedish Day holiday, but how do you link the maiden from Italy to the Swedes adoption of her?? - anyway, aren't we all Irish on St. Patrick's Day?) We headed off to a local mall where we dined in the food court with a large carousel as part of the decor. People watching was quite enjoyable and entertaining! Folks of all ages were wearing all shades of green. We saw babies up through grandparents sporting the cheery color...even one boy had his hair dyed green! (The one with the red sweatshirt on the left.) And, as a final treat, we took Mom to her favorite store for spending o' the green... THE DOLLAR STORE! In closing, an Irish blessing: May there always be work for your hands to do. May your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine on your window pane. May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you. May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's a ZOO out there!

It's been a bit of a challenging week for the Nelson sisters. So, we took a little mini outing to the Cosley Zoo in Wheaton. Seeing the animals on a lovely day was just what we needed to provide us with a bit of comic relief from our decisions and appointments. Isn't it funny how watching a duck waddle, a goat climbing on top of a shed, a cow grazing and a llama relaxing can put our own lives in perspective?

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Scrabble Addiction

I have loved playing word games for as long as I can remember! It all started with Spill 'n Spell in the early 1960's. Then Scrabble. Then Perquacky. Then Boggle. Then Upwords.
Now I have returned to Scrabble via computer. The game lets me choose my opponents in human or computer form. I can play by myself with levels from Beginner to Genius. I can have a dictionary with the click of a key, hints if I need them (which I only use if I am being walloped by my computer opponent), and the best part of all...I DON'T have to score anything manually!
I can choose to set a timer for myself and play a "speed" round when I have a set amount of time free, or I can let the game be played at a leisurely pace over several days' time as it suits me.
And, I am exercising my brain as I play. I have learned so many new words from my computer
opponent such as quod (meaning prison), aalii (meaning tropical tree). There is no such word as
bling in the official Scrabble dictionary. It's fun to get x's for such words as xi (Greek letter) or
xu (money unit of Viet Nam). There are lots of great words with q's in them. But, I have come to detest getting the letters c and v. K's can also be painful.
The biggest thrill of all is to use all seven tiles in the rack and not only be rewarded with a lot of points, but the computer screen flashing the word Bingo! and hearing the little twinkling chimes
sound simultaneously. I have hit the jackpot in the comfort of my own home.
(By the way, can you tell I have reached new heights in my current CABIN FEVER by playing and reporting about this addiction of mine!! Come spring! Come summer!!!)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Cabin Fever

Ah, to be in our cabin in the North Woods right now (assuming it's summer, of course)...or for that matter to be in ANY cabin in a warm area right now! Cabin Fever...I've got a nasty case of it right now! I'm so sick of being cold, wearing gloves and coat every time I leave the house. I'm tired of snow. I'm tired of blustery winds. I'm tired of shovels, I'm tired of being trapped indoors.

But, I must be patient and so very, very grateful that I have a warm home right this very minute. When I see the horrifying pictures of the recent tornado damage in Enterprise, Alabama and read about the devastating loss of young lives, I am humbled by my petty cabin fever.