|Jett and Andalusia|
|That's Edie in the back pandemic trick or treating|
Embroidery…. In my favorite book, Losing Battles by Eudora Welty, ten-year-old Etoyle is given to “embroidering” whenever she tells a story. She is often reminded by her elders not to embroider and others listening are warned that “Etoyle tends to embroider”. I took up embroidery, literally, last summer when I realized that when I did some hand sewing while watching the news that I remained relatively calm. So I went to JoAnn Fabrics bought some dish towels, iron on transfers, floss and needles and dug out an old embroidery hoop and since then I have done some embroidery. I think I will take a page from Etoyle and do some embroidery in my story telling, too.
I left off my last blog post with
our trip up north in the Scamp. We had occasion to do that again in early
October when the fall colors were amazing around the Brainerd area. We left the
Scamp parked by Mark’s garage
for a few days and went back out on Gilbert Lake a few times to try to lure that Walleye back to our boat. The Walleye was having none of that so we settled on catching a few Bass and Blue Gill. We had lunch with brother Bob at Wings Café at the Brainerd Airport. Mark’s farm was surrounded with beautiful oak trees in oranges, reds and browns. Every roadside in the county was lined with amazing colors. Then we took the Scamp up to Backus where sister Elaine now lives. We stayed a night with her and husband Jerry then took the Scamp back to its birthplace for a few warranty repairs. We were well cared for and I would recommend a Scamp for anyone who wants a small light weight camper. I would also recommend Elaine and Jerry for a sister and brother-in-law. Jerry has connections and was able to give us a private tour of the Deep Portage Learning Center
|Elaine and Jerry's Place|
(www.deep-portage.org) where we were able to climb to the top of a tower and look out over the amazing colors of Cass County.
We picked up the Scamp and headed back to Marks. Brothers Ludwig and Dick joined us at Marks on our last night there to enjoy some delicious pheasant that Mark cooked up for us. The next day, Dick brought the Scamp back to our house and we brought the boat back to store in the garage for the winter. Dick stayed for a few days and we made some accessories to make the Scamp more functional. Dick took the Scamp back to Rochester for winter storage and to be ready for him to bring to Texas when he can.
Kelly called us while we were up north and invited us to come to Philadelphia for a few days so we made arrangements to fly to Philadelphia. We could not resist going to see Andalusia and Jett (and their parents) when we had the opportunity. Don had not met Andalusia yet and she was 6 months old already. We flew out on October 16. Mostly while we were there, we hung out, played with the children cooked meals and ate. It was a fine visit. One day I made Kelly a batch of granola and Don did a Costco run for her. Another day Kelly took us with the children to Tyler Arboretum (www.tylerarboretum.org)
so we got to walk around and enjoy some beautiful autumn weather again. We got to spend some time with Jason too since he ended up canceling his plans for the weekend. His parents who had visited him a week or so before we were there took advantage of an opportunity for a free Covid test. His father tested positive though he never had symptoms and later had a negative test so we think it was probably a false positive. That didn’t stop it from messing up Jason’s plans for the weekend but we benefited because we were able to spend some time with him. Our return trip was not so enjoyable. We landed in the middle of an 8” snowfall. Our flight had to hang out in the sky for an extra half hour to get the runway cleared and then it took some extra time to get the jet bridge to the plane. We made it and it was worth the memories.
We had a week after that to get ourselves ready to drive to Texas. It was mostly cold and the snow never melted until after we left. Word is that since we left until yesterday the weather in Minnesota has been fabulous. We arrived here on Halloween in time for the Palmdale Halloween Golf Cart Parade.
Now that the election is over and I can breathe a sigh of relief, I can get back to worrying about the little things in my life. For instance, in an attempt to reduce the load of stuff that we take back and forth to Minnesota, I purchased a printer and wireless keyboard/mouse for each of my houses. They are relatively inexpensive. It’s not practical to have 2 laptops. So I packed up my laptop with the USB thingy that goes with my Minnesota keyboard and mouse leaving the Texas thingy in Minnesota. So, I am using the laptop keyboard and that explains a lot of the mistakes I may make.
It appears that our democracy may have survived 4 years of Trump though the future still remains to be seen. Some of my conservative friends on FB are now taking to a social media site called “Parler” which will be friendlier than FB has been during this election cycle. Presumably there will be no fact checking on conspiracy theories and misinformation that took place on FB this year. People can be even more insulated from reality and we can become even more divided as a country. I’m sorry. I was going to write about my little worries.
Staying healthy in South Texas may be easier than staying healthy in the Midwest now that winter is coming on. Here in the Rio Grande Valley, they experienced a big spike in cases back in late summer and the residents seem to have responded appropriately. There is almost universal mask wearing in public places and the numbers are pretty reasonable especially compared to up north. Probably the weather has a lot to do with that. Hopefully that can stay the same with all the Winter Texans arriving from hotspots like North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota ever day
Palmdale will not be the same this year. There will be no Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. No line dancing, exercise class, card playing, quilters, happy hour, or jam sessions in the hall. We are kind of on our own to form some small pods for social distancing get togethers on our patios and porches. I think golfing will still be possible as are walks on the beach and fishing. We’ll do more of those things. The really important thing to keep in mind is that this will be over some day and we are going to get through it together.
My children and their children are
all doing well. Andalusia is becoming mobile and life is changing for the
Pennsylvanian Ruff/Schlessman family. Jett is enjoying her home pre-school
experience with friend Tegan and doing well. Edie is in 3rd grade
doing on-line classes with Minneapolis Public Schools. And we are beginning to
plan for a summer vacation. Something to look forward to.
I am trying to make some finishing touches on getting this place decorated. Rugs and curtains and plants.
|My new Desert Rose|
I am continuing with my 2 Zoom book groups with some really good people from the Anoka United Methodist Church that I have never seen in person but connected to when I was in Minnesota. One group is starting to read “Incarnation” by Adam Hamilton for the Advent season. The other group finished reading “White Fragility” and are starting on “So you want to talk about race”. There will be a days when I can go the Anoka UMC and meet these fine people in person.