Friday, October 29, 2010

What to do...

It amazes me how out of touch we are in modern life with how things work.  My furnace wouldn't start this morning when I went to turn it on for the first time.  The house was 60 degrees, so I thought it an appropriate start to the day.  Of course, WHY it doesn't work is a complete mystery to me.  I fidgeted with a few dials and switches, none of which I understand the mechanics of, but I toyed with them anyway, hoping for some miraculous healing.  It's happened before.

So what would the pioneers have done?  They, at least, understood the mechanics of their world.  They would have known how to fix their situation.  Does it bother anyone else in modern society that we lack even the means to warm ourselves by methods which we as individuals can understand and control and fix?  And my furnace is a relatively simple piece of modern equipment!  I won't even go into the strange sounds coming from my car which I ignore because I neither comprehend them nor truly want to comprehend them.  I just know that when it ultimately stops working, I will pick up my cell phone, which I couldn't begin to understand on anything other than a "which button to push" level, and call a mechanic who will use tools that he doesn't understand to fix it!

This constant feeling of not knowing and being at the mercy of someone else bothers me!  It is one reason, among many, that I dream of moving to some remote place and living off the land, off the grid, somewhere where if something breaks, I will at least intellectually know how to fix it even if I lack the brute strength....where I can be master of my world instead of a slave to the yellow pages.

By the way, anybody living near me know a good furnace repairman???

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Different Kind of Same

Every year we go to the Minnesota State Fair.
What I love about the fair, what keeps me coming back, what makes me strive and juggle and squeeze to fit it into our busy end of summer how every year it's the same family traditions full of memories and laughs, but every year it's different and unique at the same time.

It's a different kind of same.

Now there have been a couple of years that we didn't go.
But with college on the  horizon, I am becoming a tradition tigress.  Nobody is allowed to mess with my family's traditions...not even the family themselves!

This year's visit was on a gorgeous cool weekday.
No crowds.

And it was just the perfect mix of old trusted stops and a few new ones.
I'll let you know which was which.

Browsing the junk--I mean souvenir booths....OLD.
Not asking for anything right off the bat....NEW.

Butterfly House...OLD
Lily not screaming her HEAD off.....NEW!

Marvelling at God's handiwork..... NEVER GETS OLD!

Cotton Candy........OLD
Everybody getting their own.....NEW
(We decided to give them each a certain amount of cash and let them buy their own food and souvenir items this year.  It backfired horribly because everybody wanted to taste everyone else's food, so Tim and I ended up buying more for the sad child who made the mistake of purchasing anything.  It was a good idea in theory.)

Eating on a stick....OLD
Eating crocodile....NEW!

OLD....She gets cotton candy whenever she wants it.
Cause she can't eat it all, and her momma likes cotton candy a lot!

FRUIT...yes FRUIT...fried on a stick....VERY NEW...

REPEAT fruit on a stick because everybody ate his first one.

OK....this was SO funny....Look at the ducklings in the back trying desperately to fit three of themselves through one little hole!  It wasn't even a big hole.  WHY?  For some reason it reminded me of my kids.

We don't mess with the biggest pig tradition.
You haven't seen the fair until you've seen the biggest pig.

Piggy Hats....OLD
Piggy Faces....NEW

Llamas.....WAY NEW!
Where have you guys been all these years?

Family Picture while having Pronto Pups and milk fresh from cows that morning...OLD.
Crow's Feet and those lines on my neck...what are those?....sigh...NEW.

Bald Eagle Talk....NEW!

Buying a slushy and souvenir for the child who has to wait for older siblings to get out of the mirror maze...OLD.
Tim at the fair wearing a pink sequined hat....NEEEEW.
Take a look at the lady on the bench.  She's onto me.

Ah the fair...
the hunger pangs,
 the stomache aches,
 the smells,
the tired walk back home,
the being together.
Good Times.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just photos this time.
No silly captions or complicated narrative.
Just take a few seconds to enjoy a vicarious walk through sunshine, sweetness and childhood.
And then go grab a kid you know and head to the ice cream shop!
These were taken on a lovely afternoon's ramble at Como Zoo in St. Paul last month.

The End

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Footballs for Brains

Here, my friends, is why I have no time to blog.
I'm too busy having a ball dressing up and pretending to be a football Mom.
Well, technically I AM a football Mom.
Thanks to number 21, who let me wear his jersey ONE game....and number 85 who never comes over for pictures because he's too busy gabbing with his friends!
I felt extremely "cool."
Those are shadows not crows feet.
Just saying.

Here's the one focused action shot I have so far this season!
This is Andrew.
He plays Safety for the varsity defense.

This, number 85 in front, is Zach who plays an assortment of positions, mostly Fullback, for the varsity offense!
Been an exciting year!
Till now.
Due to cracked ribs (Andrew) and appendicitus/surgery (Zach), neither boy played football last week.
We survived. play another day...

"Go Zephyrs"
(The Zephyr is our mascot and is a Roman diety or soldier or something like that...because Mahtomedi is oh so similar to Rome...???  It's also a wind.) 
I am doomed, it seems to peculiar mascots.  In jr. high we were the "Comets" and in high school we were the "Meteors."  No "Tigers" or "Panthers" or "Wildcats" for me!

Just rocks from space and obscure pagan entities.

No Matter!

Because the REAL fun of football is this:

I love just watching them go!

He's little....but mighty....and sneaky...and very quick!

Andrew was a little sore from the game the night before, so he sat this one out...

....sorta sat it out...
in a flipping upside down sorta way.

Rose colored glasses for a happy little cheerleader!

Oh....sorry....back to the GAME!

This play will end in pain.

He's mapping out his future appendectomy scar; he just doesn't know it.
I've often wanted to join the huddle and make random marks over my gut and then yell "break!" and just see what happens....what sort of play turns up!
Admit that would be fun!

Into it.

I told you he was sneaky!

Then I got bored and decided to take some shots of the bench warmers....

...Go Team!

Go me~!
I thought this was a great shot!
Go Swedes!

Enjoy the football season, everyone!
What?  The Vikings are playing and why am I up here on the computer blogging?
Please!  I didn't get a personality transplant or anything.

Dramatic Farewells

So we'd played and toured and napped and endured...
and by the following picture...
It was clearly time to go.

I think Josiah had been on everybody's shoulders but mine!

Is it fatigue?
Is it a front flip?
Is it football?
It's football.
CLEARLY it was time to go.

So we headed to the parking lot.

It was at this point that I noticed that something was wrong....
the little pink sequined hat was hanging a bit lower than it should.
There was something about her shoulders that warned me...

She knew that it was goodbye to her cousins.
Oh how this dear little girl hates to say goodbye.
If, however, you like dramatic farewells...
she's your gal...

My older kids were sad but more controlled...

Everybody was feelin' it though...

...Some more than others....
Yep, crying on the inhale...this was gonna be a big one...

lots more than others...

Yeah...she was wailing by the end...
she wailed all the way out to the highway.

Timmy was explaining to Addie how he had his adnoids removed.
Just kidding.
But it would have lightened the mood...

Aww...Lily hugging my sweet brother.  I'm sorry I let my husband tell Ally all that stuff about Abe Lincoln.  I don't know what gets into me. 
Josiah was stoic.

The last hug's for Grandma.

Bye to Grandpa too...

Wait!  What's this?
Is he laughing?

...or crying?
I know the answer.
But I can't tell you.

A few hours later in the middle of Iowa....
the sorrow had depleted us.

Andrew Andrew Andrew

Ah...he smiles....
And Katie?
I love having teenagers.

And we still have the football with us.
I think I shall name it.
I shall call it John.
Duke the Football.

We overcame our sadness with these babies.
This is not a color enhanced photo.
The relish was truly that color.


And the cheesy dog.

....the face...
someday I'll do a whole blog post of Timmy with food on his face.
I've got a lot of material!