Thursday, July 25, 2013

Minnehaha Falls!

We had already scheduled our 2+ days in Minnesota with lots of family and friends, but at the last minute, we added one more stop.  On our way out of town, before the long drive back to Illinois, we stopped at Minnehaha Falls.  This gorgeous site is part of the inspiration of Longfellow's poem, "The Song of Hiawatha".  These falls occurs near the end of Minnehaha Creek, before it flows into Lake Hiawatha - and all of that is within the city limits of Minneapolis, along with 8 other lakes!  Seeing the falls was refreshing, invigorating, and - nostalgic.  Scott and I used to go here when we were dating...just a few years ago.

You can't make up stuff like this!  While in Minnesota, we were driving a state highway, through lots of small towns. All of a sudden, Scott says - "look at that guy, walking a chicken!". I told him to slow down so I could take a picture.  Turns out, he wasn't walking a chicken, he was trying to catch it!  (apparently there is a Rocky reference about such a feat, but I wasn't aware of it) This was being watched by the man's friends, who all thought this was pretty funny!

One of our hosts for the visit is Mick (on the right), one of the ever-young Hudson brothers.  Can you tell they are related? We had a great time visiting with Mick and my sister-in-law, Marlys.

The main purpose of our trip was visiting Scott's mom, Maurine.  She is our last surviving parent, and gets special care at Avera Morningside Heights in Marshall.  She held our hands, gave kisses, and told us she loved us. Wish we could see her more often.  Every time we see her is so special.

A perfect day!

We started our perfect day by walking by Lake Calhoun, in south Minneapolis.  How many cities have 9 lakes within the city limits?  Citizens of Minneapolis take full advantage - walking, jogging, swimming, sailing, paddleboating, we saw it all. Being there made me nostalgic, so many memories flooding back from when I used to live there.

Another beautiful lake is Lake of the Isles, so named because there are several islands in the lake, which you can enjoy as you canoe or kayak by.  So peaceful, you can hear the birds chirping, and it smells so green there. Hard to believe you are in a large city!

Sooo happy to visit with one of my mentors, my high school band director!  My bff, Karen (on the right), met us for dinner, and then we all headed over to northeast Minneapolis to see Faye Anne.  F.A. said that seeing us was a "shot in the arm".  I couldn't have said it better myself.  She's still her peppy, wonderful self.

Our next stop was to "visit" my mom and dad.  Don't be sad, they both lived long, productive, and wonderful lives.  Just wanted to stop by and pay our respects. 

And how wonderful to visit our special friends, Michele and Philippe.  They are originally from France, and Michele makes the kind of dinners you don't easily forget! Partially because of the cooking, but maybe more so because of their wonderful, interesting, and entertaining personalities. We knew them when I worked with Philippe in Chicago; they retired to Minneapolis to be near two of their three children - and to see their grandchildren, of course!   They visited them and fell in love with the vibrant, beautiful city that is Minneapolis.  (more nostalgia...)

Philippe was not feeling his best that day, with back problems, but that did not diminish his spark at the dinner table. Knowing them has added so much to our lives - it is special indeed to pay a visit on Philippe and Michele! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Making progress!

Had a full free evening last night - which hasn't happened for a while!  Took advantage, and make some big strides in assembling my Color Challenge quilt top. 
The sewing itself is not difficult, but I created this quilt improvisationally.  The creating part was great fun, but fitting everything together proved challenging, even for a seasoned sewer as myself! (I won't even tell you how many years I've been sewing.)

Sorry this photo is blurry - I just wanted to give you a peek as to the progress on this quilt top, without showing the entire top.
Suffice it to say - I am very happy that I figured out how to make it all fit!
My final project will be creating corner blocks on this design.  Maybe I'll start on that tonight - I've got an idea at least!

This hydrangea is right next to my front sidewalk, where everyone walks by every day (we live very close to our downtown, so we have lots of foot traffic, plus all of our neighbors of course).  At first glance, it appears to be a prize-worthly blossom!

But as you can see, this seemingly giant blossom is actually many blossoms, all on the same main stem, but clustered close together.  It doesn't diminish it's beauty, though!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

You CAN Go Home Again

Yay! The Minneapolis skyline! Minneapolis is a beautiful city, full of beautiful city.  We were lucky enough to spend a long weekend there earlier this month. While there, we attended a small, informal class reunion in my hometown of Delano.

This is my friend, Vicki.  We were high school classmates, and while we were not really close friends, we met again on facebook, and planned an impromptu class reunion.  How could two such young-looking friends be having their 40th class reunion???

Another good friend, Bob.  Our last names both started with "H", and we had our lockers together for all 4 years in high school.  We were also both in band, took lots of the same classes, and I recruited him to be Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music.  One of my proudest achievements!

Here I am with Stephanie, who I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with! She is as beautiful inside as out.  It just makes me sad, because we live so far from these great people. It would be so great to get together with them more often.

I pretty much knew who would be at the reunion, from the responses on our facebook page.  It was a complete surprise to see Rob walk into the room!  He is a pilot for American, and lives in Miami.  It was pure chance that he was in Delano that day, and that he also ran into Bob, who told him about the event.  Rob was a very good friend in school - it was really a highlight to get to see Rob.

Main Street, Delano - looks like a scene from an old movie or something, so cute and quaint.  The Crow River runs right through town, just to the left in this  picture.

Couldn't have a visit to Delano without checking out the old family homestead.  Nice to see it well cared for, a nice garden in the back, and the owner has a little day care business.  

A Grand Night for Singing!

Prescription for a lovely evening!

Start with great company - daughter Hannah, above, in the gorgeous Millenium Park gardens, with the amazing Pritzker Pavillion, designed by Frank Gehry, in the background.   No hint that that we were about to be rained on for about 10 minutes! No matter...

After our brief shower, we were damp, but our spirits were high! We were about to hear the Grant Park Symphony performing Rodgers & Hammerstein favorites, aided by 3 top Broadway soloists.  Dinner was easy - carryout sandwiches, and a bottle of red (and white for me). Delicious!

It was fun to share the evening with Hannah and her boyfriend, Danny.  Danny doesn't have the same musical background that we do, but he is an eager and willing participant.  We had a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Super 8

Our whole family got together last night to celebrate Gen's birthday - the first time we had all sat around one table at the same time! So special! Family times are the BEST.
Shown above are MY "super 8":  Matt, Gen, Nick, Danny, Hannah, Scott, me, and Emily.

Best Day Ever!

What a joyous day! Our sweet daughter, Hannah, and Danny Prindle were married on Saturday, May 26! It truly was the BEST DAY EVER!  H...