Friday, June 5, 2020

Graduation Under Lockdown

Several years ago, this little darlin' graduated from Kindergarten.  Her parents, my son and his lovely bride, were so proud.

This week, that same girl graduated from High School.  And her parents are still proud of her.  So is her Grandma.

Circumstances surrounding the two graduation ceremonies are vastly different.  At the time of Boston's Kindergarten graduation, life was good.  The only restrictions were those placed on children by their parents.  "Look both ways when crossing the street."  "Play nice with your sister."  "Eat your broccoli."

Things have changed.  A virus swept in.  People were confined to their homes.  Boston spent the last few weeks of her school year taking her classes online.  There was no Senior Prom.  Her graduation party had to be postponed until later this summer.  The traditional graduation ceremony was cancelled.

Boston's school, however, did a great thing.  They found a way to have a memorable graduation for the kids in spite of the virus and all the restrictions still in place.

My son drove his family to the school.  Lining the driveway were signs about the size of the political signs we see in yards - 380 of them - one for each graduate, with their photo and the word "Congratulations."  On a tall fence hung a huge banner honoring the school sports teams who could not compete this season.  Further on a stage had been erected.
When it was her turn, Boston got out of the car and walked across the stage to the strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" to receive her diploma.  Further down the stage, pictures were taken to commemorate the event.  Her family remained in the car but were able to watch their daughter receive her diploma.

The teachers who were taking part in the ceremony remained on the stage from 9 AM until the last diploma was given at 8 PM.  Those school officials have my utmost respect for doing everything they could under the circumstances, to give the Class of 2020 a graduation ceremony to remember.

But most of all I am so proud of this girl.

She kept up her grades while holding down one and sometimes two part time jobs.  And come fall, she is off to the University.  We feared that the U of M would hold classes online only, but I just heard today that the decision has been made to open the doors for regular classes for the fall semester.

Boston, this one is for you.  You make me proud.  Congratulations!
Love, Grandma  

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Just For The Record

Minnesota has taken a hit in the media for over a week.  Here are a few facts about my home state.

First and foremost, any Minnesotan with an ounce of human kindness in their soul finds the death of Mr. Floyd horrifying and completely unacceptable.  We agree that those responsible need to be held accountable.

Yes, we have a governor who would rather sit on his hands and watch our cities burn than to take action to stop the rioting, looting, arson and general mayhem.  It was obvious that on the first night, those who were peacefully protesting were hijacked by thugs and criminals.  And yet it took days of dithering by our governor before any decisive action was taken.  And while he was deciding if calling up the National Guard was in his best interest poitically, those he should be protecting were forced to watch the businesses they worked hard to create and maintain, burn to the ground.  If he had even a shred of common decency, he would be too ashamed to show his face in public.

As far as the Mayor of Minneapolis goes, I would be amazed if he could find his own backside with both hands and a flashlight.  Why a mayor would give a 'stand down' order to his police force while his city is on fire and stores are being looted, is beyond comprehension.  I believe the position of dog catcher is probably more suited to his capabilities, but even that is doubtful.

There are bad people in every walk of life.  One bad cop does not a bad police force make.  Yes, there needs to be accountability for those who make their own rules and hurt those they are sworn to protect.  But most are honorable and do the right thing in any situation.

The cities are filled with those of the liberal persuasion.  Many seek to tear down the lifestyle we know and love, only to replace it with nothing short of Communism.  But once you leave the shadow of the cities, you will find those who are God loving, hard working and independent thinking.  We don't believe the hogwash from main stream media.  We do believe in the Rule of Law.  We believe in the Constitution. 

Even in the cities you will find those who are out sweeping glass from the sidewalks, scrubbing the vile graffiti from storefronts, checking on their neighbors, donating food to those who no longer have a grocery store nearby because some thug set it ablaze. 

These are the true Minnesotans.  The ones who help clean up after the animals have destroyed everything in their paths.  The ones who make sure their elderly neighbor has food.  The ones who take their kids to Sunday School and Church.  The ones who teach their kids to be hard working, responsible, good human beings. 

That's who the real Minnesotans are. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Go With the Flow

Someone - I don't know who - once said, "We make plans.  God just laughs at us."  This is very true.

I had planned on discontinuing canning for a while to concentrate on other areas of preparation.  But my youngest son asked me to email him my wish list for Sam's Club.  He said he will pick up part of it for me soon and the rest when he and his brother go shopping in June.  Makes sense.  Less for him to have to haul up the stairs to my apartment at one time.

Much of my list is stuff for the freezer.  My chest freezer was nearly full, so something had to change in order to find room for the Sam's haul.

My kitchen table is now covered with 4 venison roasts, 2 pork roasts, 5 boneless pork chops, 18 lbs. of hamburger, 2 large turkey breasts and 2 grocery bags full of quart freezer bags of slaw/relish.  I had to stop there because my table is the only space available to let some of this start to thaw.  I'm kind of scared to find out what is lurking at the bottom of the freezer.

I believe my weekend is now taken up with the canning I wasn't going to do.  But there are times when we just have to go with the flow.  I need the freezer space.  Haven't a clue where I will store the jars of canned meat and slaw, but I am not about to let any of it go to waste.

In these uncertain times, it doesn't matter that there were other things I wanted to do this weekend.  What matters is that I need to do whatever is necessary to feed my family.  And if you think things will be just fine, you really need to take a look at the two videos posted over at "Thoughts from Frank and Fern."  If they don't wake us up to what is in store for us, I doubt anything will.

Pray and prep, my friends.  We need a whole lot of both.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Ode to a Ramble

There has been very little going on here in my little slice of heaven.  It is quiet - way too quiet - in my neighborhood.  The sound of another voice has me scurrying to a window to get a glimpse of another human being.  I am told there are a couple of small shops in town that are finally open.  The bicycle shop beneath my apartment is open a few days per week now.  Our governor is dragging his feet on opening Minnesota up for business.  There is an effort afoot to have him recalled.  Minnesotans want to work.

Those of us who prepare usually have a plan.  We know what we would like to have on hand for a given period of time and we work toward that goal.  Sometimes we find the need to be flexible.

I have 12 lbs. of hamburger in the freezer.  I have another 12 lbs. in the fridge.  The plan was to brown all of it and can it.  Until I noticed that I could maybe get half a dozen jars on my shelves.  They are that full.  So - change of plans.  Tomorrow I will be making meatloaves, meatballs and taco meat.  Once cooked and cooled down, they will be vacuum sealed and stashed in the freezer.  The only thing I will be canning for a while is some venison that has been frozen.  Duane and I have had a couple of meals of venison, but we both like it canned, so canned it shall be.  There isn't a lot of it so I think I can find room for a few jars on the shelf.  Maybe.

My youngest son orders beef every year from a farmer he knows.  The price is reasonable, even with the processing at a local butchers.  So I have ordered a quarter beef for this fall.  I like the idea of supporting local buinesses.  The plan is to fill in with pork and chicken as it goes on sale at the grocery where my delivery service shops.

My boys are planning an excursion to Sam's Cub in the not too distant future.  They won't let me go.  When I was exposed to the virus, Duane was checking up on me often and David was calling every day wanting to know what my temperature was.  No way will they take me to a big box store full of people.  Just as well, I suppose.  But it grates on me to have to admit that I am in the 'elderly and vulnerable' catagory.  Sigh.

However, I am going through Sam's website and making a list.  The plan is to break down the large containers of frozen food and vacuum seal individual portions. And I trust them both to make good choices as to what I would like to have.  Bless all four of my kids.  They always come through when I need something done.

That's about all I know today.  I truly hope you all are able to be out and about enjoying some sort of normalcy.  We so badly need to just get on with our lives.    

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Nope. Won't do it.

While perusing YouTube last evening, looking for something fun to watch before going to bed, I instead ran across this video.  It was put out there by Ammon Bundy who, you may recall, was involved in a scuffle with government entities in a land dispute.  Whether you agree with Mr. Bundy's politics or not, he points out what lies ahead for us.  It is worth your time.

I am not for even a minute downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19.  The question is, am I willing to allow government representatives into my home to test me against my will and to take me or my family away to quarantine camps?  Am I willing to be tracked to restaurants or on the street or anywhere I go on the off chance I might be near someone with the virus?  How much of my personal freedom am I willing to give up for the sake of a virus that has a recovery rate of 98%?

Speaking as one who has indeed been exposed to COVID-19, (I am fine, by the way) I can say with absolutely no reservations, No!  And Hell, No!

So listen up, those who would try to scare me into being paralyzed with fear.  I will not take your tests.  I will not allow you to keep tabs on my every move.  I will not allow your 'just following orders' people into my home.  And I sure as hell will not comply!

Oh, it is for my own good?  It is 'for the children?'

Well, that's different.  (Snark)

Thursday, May 7, 2020


In these times of fear and lockdowns and a crumbling economy, we desperately need some happy.  Finding a bag of Chinese take-out outside my apartment door, left there by my son, makes me happy.  The upcoming birth of my Great-Grandchild as noted in the previous post, makes me extremely happy.  The daily phone call from my youngest son, checking up on his Mom, makes me happy. (All is well.  No symptoms.)  Last evening he emailed me this video of my Granddaughter performing her solo dance competition tap dance.

I feel bad for Boston.  She graduates from high school this year and may miss out on both Prom and the graduation ceremony.  She has been dancing in competitions for several years and this her last year before college.  It seems that the competitions are cancelled due to the virus.  She made this video at the dance studio she attends and it is possible that it could be sent to the various competitions for judging in a virtual competition.  Not the same as dancing in front of a real, live audience, but I am glad she may still be able to compete in this way.  She worked hard on her routine and deserves some recognition for that.

So Boston...this one is for you.  You made me very happy.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Amazing Technology

This is a photo of my Grandparents.  My Mother always claimed that was the first photo taken of herself because she was born a couple of months later in July of 1924.

Things have changed over the years.  These pictures of my Granddaughter's ultrasound were emailed to me by my daughter.  May I present (drumroll please) my first Great Grandbaby!

And the tiny little feet!

We have a few months to go before learning if the baby is a boy or a girl.  Nicki and Chris have decided they don't want to know until he/she is born.  I guess that is OK.  I didn't know the gender of any of my kids until their births.  But I have this really cute girl fabric in my stash for a baby quilt.  Guess I had better get busy and order some boy themed fabric and make two quilts.  I am not fond of gender neutral baby quilts.

I am simply amazed at how the technology has advanced so that I can actually see my Great-Grandbaby.  The only thing better will be when I can actually hold that child in my arms.