Thursday, November 27, 2008

This is just a cruel holiday treat!

I picked this Cub.

Actually, an "interesting" combination.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas with Rellie

So...Friday I had eye surgery, am not supposed to bend over or lift stuff, and couldn't shovel snow Sunday. Sarah needed to do some last minute ( to the last minute) shopping and I got to entertain Rellie. For some reason I don't understand, she didn't seem at all interested in listening to Phillip Pullman's His Dark Material (Includes The Golden Compass.)

However, she seemed to find her new book, Belly Button Book, highly intriguing on Christmas Day. I guess our tastes in literature differ a little...for now.

And then again, sometimes the wrapping is even more interesting.

So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our Washington Vacation...Not All Rain

We left Minneapolis in the pouring rain October 16th. I thought this was an appropriate start to a late fall vacation in western Washington. I had done the unconscionable thing of looking at the Puget Sound weather before we left...solid rain...Tuesday through Monday. To our delight and surprise, we flew into a bright, sunny afternoon in Seattle. The car we rented wasn't there! Barb was eyeing a new Jeep that was parked next to our empty slot, when they came back and asked if we would mind taking the Jeep. Barb said she had always secretly wanted the fates smile on her again. We drove down to stay with Jack and Kay Brown in Puyallup, east of Tacoma. Jack and I were stationed in the same unit in VietNam, and again at McChord AFB outside Tacoma. We wound up living in the same apartment complex there, and became like family...the good parts. They stayed there when Barb and I moved back to the Midwest. Jack and Kay both retired this summer, so they were free to spend a lot of time with us. We spent Wednesday and Thursday on their boat...C2B2

The weather started out sunny , but turned to the typical gray rainy Puget Sound I had been looking forward to. ;)

Barb and Jack

Kay and me.

We tied up in a marina below downtown Tacoma to stay for the night. Then spent Wednesday afternoon and evening bumming around downtown, and then slept that night on the boat. Thursday morning was forecasting high winds so we took the boat back to their slip, and drove back to Tacoma. Thirty five years ago, when we lived out there, Tacoma was a smelly, deteriorating "rat hole". Now it's coming back, with a large U of W campus, convention center, museums, theaters and lots of things to do.

One of the things I would recommend, if you ever get there, is the Chihuly Glass Museum. I wasn't all that interested in the displays, though the "bridge" was impressive.

However, the "Hot Shop", where they actually work the glass was fastinating. I've done just enough lab glass blowing to be overwhelmed by what they were doing. We sat there for two hours, and could have watched longer. As impressive as their successes were, their work to recover when things started to go wrong, was equally intriguing.

On returning to Puyallup, Thursday night, we were greeted with a "Brown-out'. There were 26,000 homes without power in the southern Puget Sound area due to the winds, but only the Brown's neighborhood in Puyallup. Jack and Kay have a little tear-drop camp trailer. So while Jack got out a generator to keep their refrigerator in the house running, I made chili for supper in the trailer's rear flip-up kitchen. Chili and wine by candle light. :) The four of us used to camp together a lot, so it was sort of like the old days.

Friday and Satuday we went over to the Pacific Ocean.

What to do in case of a Tsunami!

What "NOT" to do in case of a Tsunami!

The result of ignoring the guy behind the camera yelling "TSUNAMI!".

Some historical sites just don't seem to hold much name appeal.

Contrary to the original weather forcasts for the week we had sun and rain every day except one. We took a chance of going up to Mount St Helens on an overcast afternoon, and were rewarded with great, though intermittent, views of the mountain, the devastation, and the recovery.

Our day in Seattle on Monday was mostly sunny. Great for just hanging out. My only goal there was to find a donut shop, "Top Pot", that had been raved about on the Lynn Rosetta Casper's food show on MPR. The rest of the time was spent wandering around Pike Place Market and eating, seeing the new sculpture garden and eating, shopping along the warfs and eating...well Seattle is a good place to eat.

We had planned a trip up to Mount Rainier for our last day of vacationing. It hadn't been visible all week, so it was a big surprise to wake up Tuesday morning and see it looming out our bedroom window. The day turned out to be, from my flying days: "severe clear". The destruction up there from the 18"/36Hrs rains last December has closed most of the roads around the mountain, but the road to Paradise (ironic phrase) was open. Though nothing was open at the Paradise visitor center (awaiting demolition and replacement) we were entertained by an opportunistic fox stealing a bag of baggles out of the back of someones pickup.

Peder's sister, Heidi came down from DesMoines (WA), to visit with us at the Brown's, after we got back from Rainier.

The only down side of the trip was not much "down time" during the week. Guess I'll have to take advantage of that on the cruise next August.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Heads Up...Amazing Feats of Strength

Well, our lives do seem to revolve around Aurelia lately. Yesterday afternoon Sarah came over for a piece of Barb's rhu-barb pie. Said she and Rellie were going to Target shopping...but, we talked her into leaving Rellie with us. 3-1/2 weeks and growing. Had my first experience (in maybe 30 years) with a "projectile" baby corsage.

And a trip to see great grandma Carole. Holding a baby is so comforting...for both.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Baby...Baby...Oh Baby

I'd like to introduce our new granddaughter:
Aurelia Ryan DeFor, 8 Lbs 15 oz, 20-1/2",
born Thu Aug 23rd at 5:45 AM.

Finger and Toe count was successful!

Barb and "Aury"

Grandpa Steve, proud Papa Peder, and Grandpa Ken

Grandma Barb, and Grandma Donna

My Three Generations...Barb, Sarah, and Aurelia.

Uncle Ryan and Aunt Carrie

Grandpa Steve

Grandma Donna

"The Ballroom" Labor/Delivery Suite
at Methodist Hospital

Hospital food was the

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Floating my boat...Well, almost!

So close. I've always said if I ever got a boat, it would be a pontoon. I missed one many years ago, at the U of M. 22 footer, on a trailer for $2000. Friday, Biology at Macalester announced that they were selling their research pontoon boat (22 footer, w/trailer and 50hp motor) for $2000 or B.O. Needed some work, but they were using it up until last week. Then the questions: were to work on it, where to store it, would we use it enough to make it worth the effort. This morning I asked Biology if they'd hold it for me for a couple of days, then went out to take some pictures of it. I ran into Mike O'Connor, the head of Plant Operations (and two of his workers), who was also looking at it. We looked it over, talked at length about what the pluses and minuses were. Later he called me, and said his wife had OKed it for him to buy. In the mean time I kept thinking about where I could put it to work on it. Too big for the garage. And I don't think Jane would like it sticking over on her garage pad. With good no answer...I told Mike to take it. I'm sure, at about 3 o'clock tomorrow morning I'll think of the perfect solution, was fun to dream.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


I wish to make a retraction from my last post. One of the eagles was fishing on the lake, and the baby was perched on the branch by the nest, this morning. I'm not sure if (s)he has been hiding in the nest, or has flown and returned. ???