Monday, March 29, 2010


I've been ambivalent about taking a position on accepting awards. This actually hadn't been a consideration until recently when Kittie at The Block gave me an award soon after Nancy at Blissed Out Grandma gave me one.

When Corgi Dog Mama posted this graphic on her blog, something in me said, "Amen Sister!" So I lifted the graphic from her and now I'm assuming the same position.

I don't wish to be ungracious or insult the generosity of Kittie and Nancy, but I don't feel like blogging is a competitive sport. Every blog has it own unique qualities and appeals to different tastes. In the scope of things, my blog is nothing special.

This is certainly not meant to disparage anyone who gives or receives awards. I'm just opting out of the awards scene as I'm sorta embarrassed by it all. Thanks for understanding.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Anticipating the glorious green

From a letter to the editor in today's Minneapolis StarTribune, Sandy Stryker writes about driving down a quiet residential street:

"The atmosphere was charged. The branches of elm and oak seemed to tremble with anticipation. I felt sure that, inches underground, albino seedlings were pushing up, starving for sun, desperate to commit photosynthesis."

Don't you just love it? Even though there's not a sign of any plants popping up yet and piles of dirty snow still exist by parking lots, Spring is in the air! So, let's have a shout-out for photosynthesis!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The wonderful world of Peeps

I went on Google Images to pick up a few casual Peeps photos to use. I was bowled over by the amazing variety of stuff and the degree to which Peeps have permeated our society. They aren't just for eating anymore!

They are the subject of games, art and decor in dozens of ways. Among the posted photos are dioramas, posters, cakes and even a car covered in Peeps.

I really, really love Peeps. A dear friend who knew about my weakness once gave me a string of lighted plastic Peeps chicks for Easter. This past weekend, she took me to the Candyland shop in downtown St. Paul. To a candy lover like me, Candyland is Shangri la! The tiny shop (located right around the corner from the Children's Museum) is wall to wall old-fashioned glass display cases filled with candies of every kind. They even have the "burnt peanuts" and "Boston baked beans" my Dad always loved, plus one of those nostalgic lighted fresh nut displays like department stores used to have.

As I entered the always crowded little shop, I headed straight for the chocolates but my friend called me over to the corner production area. There, sitting behind the glass partition was a tray of chocolate-covered Peeps! Nirvana! She quickly asked an employee to bring some out. The multi-colored Peeps had been hand-dipped in milk chocolate up to their little necks, then individually wrapped in plastic bags. We each bought a bag of them. I also got two of the caramel-dipped marshmallows covered in chocolate and topped with a sour ball...they are to die for!

It's good that I don't get downtown very often because I would be drawn like a magnet to Candyland and indulge myself to death!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Household Ants are back

At the risk of coming across as some kind of weirdo, I'm going to explain the agreement that I have with my household ants.

First of all I must tell you, they're the nice kind of ants. They aren't the nasty big black ones that crawl all over the walls and into the waste basket. And, they're not the icky little grease ants that get up on the cupboards and into the dishwasher. These are the regular brown ants that forage for food and stick to business.

After I moved into my ground level condo, the ants showed up one day and took over one dish of canned cat food. But, only one. I thought this was very polite of them. So in a Zen moment, I struck an agreement with them. Whenever they showed up hungry, I would feed them if they kept to their little area.

Their "ant hill" is under the concrete floor of my kitchen. The ants come up by way of a small crack under the carpet in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen floor. They create a little highway as they cross in a line past the metal strip that holds the carpet down. At the other side, I leave them to the designated dish of cat food so they can finish it off. This takes several days depending on the degree of interest they have generated back at the Hill. Sometimes they get hordes of helpers, this time, not so much. Ants leave a scent trail for others to follow. Apparently, the degree of scent tells the others how much help is needed.

The cats will not touch food the ants have been eating because of the odor of formica. So, I can safely put down bits of food for the ants in that corner. That way the ants can replenish their food stores quickly and go away. This arrangement has been working splendidly for many years now.

I don't really believe there's anything special about my household ants. I doubt that they hold me in high regard, but nevertheless, I take pleasure in coexisting amicably with them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blogs keep you connected to other's hearts

I have been following a blog called Heartbeat Diaries for over a year. It was written by a 37-year-old Canadian named Euan B. Sharp who posted about his lifelong journey toward getting a heart transplant.

I left him a comment message yesterday. This morning, a friend of his left a message in my blog comments that he died last night in the process of getting a new heart. I feel so bad that all his struggles ended this way.

If you have a few minutes, you might stop by his blog and read his last post dated March 16, 2010.

What a wonderful writer we have lost!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Facebook is OK in my book

I've been on Facebook for a while now. At first, I didn't really see much point to it but as time went by, I found it to be really useful. That's because Facebook is where my grandkids hang out!

I'm able to stay in touch with my 21-year old grandson down in Phoenix who recently got married. While I haven't met his new wife yet, I've chatted with her on Facebook several times so we're no longer strangers. His older brother who lives on the other side of North Dakota has a girlfriend and friends that he loves to photograph. This keeps me posted on how things are going in his life. At the same time, I keep up with two granddaughters in college on Facebook. Plus, my oldest granddaughter frequently posts pictures of her family and talks about what she's been up to. (Tonight she's packing up Girl Scout cookies to deliver.)

The fact is, I would have almost no contact with any of them if not for Facebook! This way I can keep up with them without intruding and we always have something to talk about. Win/win. So, Woohoo for Facebook!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Minnetonka Arts on 7 is hiding from us

My son plays the string bass with a community orchestra. Last night they had a concert out at a school in Minnetonka and I really wanted to go see it.

Now, I live on the opposite side of the Twin Cities--I don't do Minnetonka. I went on Mapquest to find out how to get there. Unfortunately, Mapquest didn't quite know how to get me there either.

After about an hour of finagling around, I had some really weird directions. I tried a variety of methods to get them clarified and finally figured I was OK.

So I took off an hour early and drove and drove until I got on Hwy 7. Then I drove and drove west until I got to the intersection where I was supposed to do a U-turn. I zoomed east again per instructions, but couldn't find an entrance to the school from the highway. I turned south at the next intersection, then west and north and finally got on a frontage heading west again. At last, I arrived a a huge high school and arts complex with multiple entrances and parking lots. I tried several before locating the correct one. I arrived with barely five minutes to spare.

No wonder Mapquest couldn't give good directions! Who designs crazy entrances to public buildings like that? Well, anyway, it was a wonderful concert.

Thanks to Kittie Howard for the "Over the Top" Blogger Award. Check out her wonderful stories

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Somebody out there bugs me

Over the past several weeks I've been getting erratic comments from that universal coward, Anonymous. Some comments are shopping links, some are porn links and the one from today is just plain nonsense.

It reads verbatim:
"Genial brief and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank
you you on your information."

It's dated 3/14 at 6:20 am DST. I might add that this comment was posted on the blog of my granddaughter's family picture!

I have been regularly deleting these comments. However, I'm becoming worried and confused about it--not to mention annoyed. Does anyone have a handle on where these come from and how to stop it? Has my blog been compromised in some way? Does anyone else have a problem with this?

I'd appreciate comments from everybody except *&%!#! Anonymous!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Proud Grandma moment

My granddaughter sent me this family picture and I love it so much I just had to share it. These are a bunch of dear, dear people!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Awards Sunday

Here it is Oscars Sunday and I have won my own special award! BLissed-Out Grandma has given me the GLOB award. (Although the BLOB award might actually be more appropriate.) She credits me with seeing the beauty in others, which is a really nice thing for her to say.

Blissed is a fellow Minnesotan and grandma who not only blogs about how her grandkids brighten her life. She also has a solid position in Twin Cities history--check out her blog from last Saturday for her "MN-street creds".

I was looking forward to the Oscars tonight but it turns out I won't be home. I'm not overly sad although it will be the first Academy Awards show I've ever missed.
From all the press, it seems that tonight's awards are just a foregone conclusion. There won't be much suspense or excitement. Since I'm not into who-wears-what or who's hanging on whose arm, I guess I won't miss much.

My computer seems to be working better after some self-help fixes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happiness is Hot Water!

Yesterday my son came over and did a repair job on my ailing hot water heater. Who knew the things were so darn complicated? It turned out that one of the two elements had burned out and the old dip tube had disintegrated. We replaced the dip tube but bits of the old one were floating around inside. It took a lot of man-handling for him to get it cleaned out and to replace the elements. But, we now have oodles of lovely hot water.

This all cost around $100. Not bad when you consider a new one would have cost around $500. We also installed some energy-saving features. Heat traps--the pipes going into the top of the water heater can waste heat by conducting heat away from it. The traps will prevent that. Energy Blanket--this cost $35 but is supposed to cut down on energy consumption by keeping the water hot longer so it doesn't run as much. I'm hoping this will cut down on our electric bills!

Well, enough of flaunting my newly acquired knowledge!

They announced the name chosen for Lily's cub--they are calling it Hope. I'm a little disappointed because there seems to be something rather fatalistic in that choice. Frankly, I liked your suggestions a lot better!