Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Deal With It

There sure has been a lot of snow and cold in our neck of the woods this year. Not a big fan of winter myself, I'm trying to find strategies to cope with being stuck inside. Yes...reading, scrapbooking, quilting are all great cozy ways to spend time indoors, but my brain needs a little stimulation, too. I challenge this gray matter with computer Scrabble daily and Yahtzee occasionally. The best is when real people come together and not only is the brain exercise good, but the social interaction is highly entertaining! It also reminds me of fun times in the past when we would have Game Night as a family. (Thankfully, my days of tolerating Candyland are long over!)
Two weekends ago, Anne and Jed came here for dinner out and an evening playing a new (to us) game of Mexican Train Dominoes. Have you played it? It's quite quick-moving and involves more strategy than one would think. The first time I played, I was a disaster with points, but now I'm getting the hang of it and trying to rid my stash of those multi-dotted dominoes before the game is over. Just starting out with the game:
Notice how how Wes sets his pieces up...can you tell he was a former choir director? I think he looks like he has an audience with it this way! I think Anne looks like she is a math teacher with how organized and straight her game pieces are. My pieces are randomly placed...whatever. Jed just puts 'em as he draws 'em.
Just last weekend, John and Kari came out for part of the day and we had fun playing this game. Nothing like dealing out all the cards and finding that bird in your hands with the little star in each corner.
Well, February is almost over with now. Hurray! As much fun as it has been to play games with my computer and family members, I still am looking forward to a time when we can take walks outside, open up our windows for pleasant whiffs of fresh air, and get on with the business of living in a warmer world. As I get older, I think about retiring in a warmer climate...this is perhaps too cold a place to live 12 months a year. But, it is what it is and I need to deal with it. Games help in a little way to while away the time and give my brain something to gnaw on in the meantime.

Friday, February 22, 2008

HAT-itude!

Last night at our church the Fireside Fellowship group gathered for a special program featuring vintage hats, old time sing-along songs and, of course, food. A Lutheran minister - Rev. Nathan Anderson, brought many hats and his guitar. Hats and music...count me in! (Even though I am not yet a part of the FF group.) For years now, I have been collecting vintage hats myself, and many of the folks in this slide show are wearing my "finds." My observation: get a fun hat on almost anyone, and immediately they smile and others respond with ooo's and laughs. In this group, you will see retired teachers, missionaries, musicians, parents/grandparents of those you might know yourself, travel agents, retired business men and women. You might even spot a minister or two! Enjoy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

She's a Love. She's a Gift.

To me, there's almost nothing to compare to the birth of a newborn baby. A true miracle. From a life inside that's dark and waterish with a steady lub-dubbing around the clock. A huge ordeal to come into daylight, with unsteady (cold!) outer temperatures. Learning how to eat. Wearing clothing. Trying to communicate to care givers how to best take care of your needs. Switch over to the new parents of this newborn...how to answer cries, figure out how to care for such a little, helpless being who was dreamed about for so many months. And, if there's an older sibling, how to juggle the needs of both. Will there be enough love to go around? Will sleep ever come again?
This past weekend, our third "great" was born and we were able to meet little (actually not-so-little at 9 lbs. 11 oz.) Ingrid Elise. She's a love. She's a gift. And she's going be the little sister of the established and experienced Princess Ava, but there is plenty of room and love in this particular kingdom to have a "Happily Ever After" life. Welcome, Sweet One! We love you already.
Lots of dark, straight hair that is as soft as velvet.
Little toes...
Now the parents of two! Here are the happy grandparents. Our love and congratulations to their newly expanded family!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seasoned Love

Happy Valentine's Day! Whatever you do (or don't do) today, please remember that you are loved by someone. You're never too old or too young to be loved. You can love a pet, a child, a young buck/buck-ette, a person who is not "all there" or someone who is no longer in your life, but lives on strong in your heart. You have made a difference in the life of another!
My Mom is now 86 years old and has her share of tough days. Lately, she is awakened at night with terrible, frightening dreams. She has difficulty finishing sentences at times, and thoughts can be fragmented. However, when I phoned her yesterday, she told me she had won a contest at the nursing home "Sweetheart Social" based upon her written list of what love is.
I asked her what she had written about, and she remembered a couple of things, but then said she couldn't recall the rest. So, I decided to call the Activities Director, because it was really really important to me to know about this...what her mind was capable of concocting when it has been more fuzzy than usual lately. The Director called me back, and remembered Mom's list (and said that she had actually been judged by a panel of 10 nurses and aides) and here's what Mom wrote:
Love is:
Faithfulness
Integrity
Caring
Communicating through thoughtfulness
I was very touched by this list and have been thinking about it a lot since then.
I just love this picture of my parents taken sometime in 1942 (based on the year printed on the car license plate). This was when Mom says they were "just friends" as 21 year olds, before Dad went off to war. They courted through letters, and Dad even proposed in written form from far away. When on furlough, they married in a small ceremony in Kansas, and were sweethearts for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Crazy" Love

North Park University, our Alma Mater, has a group of males -crazy, goofy males, who dress up for basketball games in wacky clothes and stand on the bleachers as a group and yell out cheers and chants for the team and fans. They call themselves the Carlson Crazies and they are a hoot and a holler to watch as they stomp, jump, yell, sway and carry on - and of course, John is an active (very!) participant in this group. These are his buds, his partners-in-brotherhood and this group has a unique kind of love for each other.
John shown here with some of his best buddies and fellow Crazies - all set to graduate this coming May. L to R: John, Chuck, Mike and Alex. Above: John with the Rholl brothers and his number one fan. video

So, this is it for the Lindahl participation in this cazy brotherhood of Carlson Crazies. As of tonight, the home games are over, and thus ends this reign of craziness. Yes, there will be others who carry on with the tradition, but it just won't be the same (to me) to go to a game and not see our son in that section of the bleachers. Thanks for the entertainment you guys have provided for the basketball games at NPU. Thanks for your love for the game and each other these past four years.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Young Love

Who knew being a Great Aunt to Ava and Cal could be this much fun? They are two of the most adorable kids and will soon be joined by siblings. Yippee! I so enjoy spending time with them, though it is certainly not often enough to be able to see the two of them in action together! These two cousins really have a good thing going and very obviously love being around each other no matter what they do. Thanks, Diann, for sharing these pictures celebrating young love. I hope these shots bring a smile to your heart, too.
This is the latest picture of the two of them together. They obviously love all this snow we are getting; can we say the same for their parents and grandparents?
Don't you just love Cal's rosy cheeks and red nose and Ava (The Princess) in her girlie pink snowsuit?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Puppy Love

There's just something about a puppy, isn't there? Wes and I both had family dogs when we were growing up, but never owned one in our married household...instead we have had a cat, Marshmallow, for 17 and a half years now. So, it has been especially fun in the past six months to catch the excitement of others as they get new puppies. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I think I'll do some posts about what is loved this week. This is the first installment.
On Saturday, we were at home doing our Saturday stuff when I heard a lot of bustle on our front porch - yet no one was ringing the doorbell. So, I went to open the door and was greeted by an adorable new puppy, Finley, and her new owners -our next door neighbors! It'll be delightful fun to watch their puppy grow up daily before our eyes. Wes and I loved seeing her try to help shovel the snow this morning, chewing away at the snow shovel with gusto. Her little wiggly black body contrasted with the white snow makes her easy to spot.
My friend Jan and her family drove far from home to pick out their new puppy, Luke. It's so entertaining to hear stories of their canine as he grows up...from his love for eating mud, how he loves to be a meeter and greeter (and I suspect neighborhood favorite), to how he loves snow days when his "girls" are home from work and school. This is our niece, Laena (yes, the hair dresser) holding up a picture of their new puppy, Ginny. Ginny is a southern girl and was picked up following our family Christmas gathering out east. Reportedly, all are in love with their new pooch who has turned out to be very sweet-natured Old English Sheepdog and thankfully able to handle her new, active family!
Let's hear it for puppy love!! (And our fomer pups Ginger and Boots especially!)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Whole Lotta Snowin' Goin' On

If you are living in this area, you know we are being snowed upon with quite the regularity, and today is no exception. The early morning sounds of neighbors' snowblowers is almost as dependable as an alarm clock these days. We still shovel the old-fashioned way, but one of our neighbors anonymously is snow-blowing our driveway every now and then and we appreciate this random act of kindness!
Schools are closing. Our library was even closed today due to the weather...and that is a rarity. Thank goodness, we have shelter and food and I am thinking of those who are not as fortunate.
While it is very pretty outside, I find myself longing for warmer days. Then today, out of the blue, Wes forwarded me a 1977 picture taken while visiting his aunt and uncle in California...Lorraine and LeRoy Satterberg. Cousin Ken forwarded it my FIL, and now I put it out there for Muriel and Elder to fondly remember two relatives they dearly loved.
Ahh. Here's to your own warm memories on this snowy, wintry day. I hope they take you back to a place filled with sunny skies, the scent of the rich earth beneath your feet and the heavenly smell of flowers in bloom!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

It's All in the Bag!

Still on the girlie girl theme, I thought I'd write about a fun visit I made to a local museum recently called "Pocketbook Anthology." Purses (handbags, bags, totes, pocketbooks...whatever) were the featured exhibit until January 20th and I had to get there somehow before it closed, and I just made it on the last day. It was informative to learn more about what we share as females...that of carrying a bag with survival items when we leave the comforts of home. For example, I learned that the average woman has between 44 and 67 items in her purse. Do you? I Do! There were about 80 purses on display. Many were designer purses with those famous name brands: Hermes, Chanel, Lulu to name but a few. The purses dated from the 1880's to 2006. Below, in the bottom right is a real alligator purse -complete with the feet of the gator still attached! But, my favorite purses were the whimsical, one-of-a-kind sorts such as these below:
Aha! A clever purse constructed of men's ties...
Left: Start saving those botttles caps! This purse was really really adorable!
Below: A purse made from a rolled metal license plate. Right: made from cigarette packages (kind of like what we did with gum wrappers).
Looking at this wall of purses was so much fun! Here's a close up of one of my favorites in the middle of this display.
Curious about what was going on inside my OWN purse, I dumped out its contents and discovered I had 55 items inside, and the total weight of purse and items was a smidge less than 4 pounds. Embarassingly, I had far too many disgusting (used) kleenexes and crumpled receipts. Pens, but no paper to write on with them. A Chapstick tube that should be tossed, a broken lipstick. Photos of my kids as babies and now one is 25 and one is 21. A wallet with credit cards I haven't used in years...expired gift cards, as well as ones I'd forgotten I had! I think I need to do some serious reorganizing here. And how about you...what's in your wallet or purse? Did you ever think you held it more often than your sweetie?
Just for fun, you can click on the website below to see if what you have in your purse is about typical for what others carry in their purses. I know my contents have changed throughout the years, especially now that it is the cell phone/digital camera age...HOW did I ever live without a cell phone?? Though I no longer carry items to amuse the little ones in my purse (like board books, Happy Meal toys, wipes or candies), my purse is still waaaaay too heavy. But, I sure couldn't cope well without it.