Saturday, July 29, 2006

Girls Gotta Run

This girl's been running all week, attending to matters for the GGR Foundation ( and only today have I begun to slow down a little.

Here's the Executive Summary: I

Met with the Director of PACT Ethiopia to discuss the terms of our Memorandum of Understanding as well as other aspects of the program and the upcoming opening exhibit and reception;

Continued to deal with structural aspects of setting up the Foundation, from reviewing the draft of the 501(c)(3) application to figuring out the best kind of checking account to open;

Recruited an Ethiopian caterer to do the food, many believe the best one in town;

Recruited a well known Ethiopian artist to participate in the Foundation's work;

Continued to work with other involved people on reception programming;

Continued to work with artists to make sure they're on track;

Worked with our webmistress to continue to develop the website;

Wrote and hand delivered a letter to the Ethiopian Embassy for the Ambassador and his staff.

And on Monday afternoon, I took some time off to take Charlotte on an outing to the reopened Museum of American Art because I wanted to see it and she wanted to do something with me before she left for Arizona with her Dad on Wednesday for three weeks.

The Goofy One is on a boy's week-end jaunt to W. Virginia, camping, fishing, boating, and biking, with Gordon, so last night I had dinner with Ann Maier, whom I hadn't seen in a long while, and tonight I'll have dinner with Anja and Ella. Tomorrow a former student and fellow artist, also someone I haven't seen in a long, LONG, time is coming over for a visit and I'm taking her with me to Gail Rebhan's house and garden party tomorrow evening, so she can see Gail and Jim Burford again.

And now, this girl's gotta shower!! It's hotter'n blazes here today and I'm grubby from a walk up the Avenue. Then I may even nap a bit.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


while tidying up the basement, also known as Charlotte and Sarah's art studio while Carey and Sarah were visiting because almost every afternoon, after a morning adventure and lunch, they would go down there and rest, watch videos, draw and color and make up dramatic "presentations" and, apparently, write songs. I'm not sure where or when they heard the music to the television comedy "Green Acres" but I'm pretty sure this was meant to be sung to that tune. They called their combination of adventures with Carey and me "Camp Aunty," because I had put it all together earlier this Spring, and from there, they started calling me "Campantie."

Here's the first verse, as far as they got. (I know it was the first verse because lower on the page there is the notation "Verse 2:"):

Campantie is the one for meeee
Shee gave me something to seee number # 1 for fun!

I'm not sure what distracted them from finishing.

A Bit Frantically Trying to Catch Up

So, things pile up when you're gone for three weeks! Despite himself's valiant efforts to take over and keep things alive, clean and tidy, I came home to find some flowers needing a little more water than they had been getting, the yard needing trimming, papers piled up - albeit very neatly - the refrigerator empty....and me with a pile of my own dirty clothes...and mail to sort....prescriptions to refill... and needing to hit the ground running, as it were, for Girls Gotta Run.

Starting at the front steps before I even took my suitcase in the house, I watered and did some trimming and deadheading and took the stacked up recycling around. Taking advantage of the empty frig, on Thursday a.m., I cleaned it before spending a quick $100 plus at the grocery store to restock it and the laundry supplies, changed the sheets on the bed, sorted and started on the wash, and almost immediately refilled the recycling with old bottles from the frig and the paper bin with the few W. Posts I actually wanted to see before I threw them out.

Friday a.m. I tackled the back yard, starting with the out of control hydrangea, which I pruned back ruthlessly and still had some steam to start on the holly bushes before filling two huge yard trash bags with the cuttings. I started making and returning phone calls yesterday afternoon and getting caught up on some email business and was finally rescued from myself by Charlotte and Ella and Anja, who came over after school and work to ask if I wanted to go for ice cream. I countered with an offer of juice bars for the girls and a cosmo for Anja and was enthusiastically accepted.

So they stayed and chatted and noshed - and Charlotte took Ella downstairs for a viewing of "The Paperbag Princess" - for a couple of hours until after Jim got home from work and we started dinner. Then Anja went home, leaving the girls because they weren't quite ready...Charlotte followed soon after, but Ella hung out, had some dinner with us, farted around while I did dishes and then sneaked upstairs to surprise Uncle Jimmy and hung out with us and played with the stuffed animals and us until finally I told her it was time to go home. She didn't take to the idea immediately, but when I gave her a choice of either walking down the stairs or my carrying her, she forgot she didn't want to go and chose to walk herself, holding my hand.

I had caught up enough by this morning that I was actually able to start making a list of the things I had left to do. It originally numbered only 12, and I've been able to scratch off some stuff so far today, but as my lists are wont to do, it grows even as I cross things off. C'est la vie. At least I'm feeling a little less frantic.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Longest Trip Home Ever

Sunday morning I met Goodie and Judy for breakfast and then Mom and I went out to Highbridge to visit with Kaye and Terry and the boys before I had to leave to go back to D.C. Charles picked me up there about 4 and we took a leisurely ride down Highway 13, stopping for dinner at Abbotsford, and making an accidental detour through Nekoosa, before finally arriving at the Americinn about 10 p.m. Since we both brought suits, we took advantage of the hot tub and swimming pool before crashing.

I forgot that we could call "Julie" at 1-800-USA-RAIL to find out how late the train was Monday morning, so after stopping at Walmart to pick up something to read (excellent book, btw, "The Glass Castle") we went over to the station and discovered it was at least an hour and a half late. Since it was so hot and we were both still tired - I had awoken and gotten up at 6 - we sat in the air conditioned car and napped. Finally, two hours late, the Empire Builder arrived and Charles and I said our good byes.

Unfortunately, because of that two hours and then some, due to freight traffic, heat restrictions on traveling speed, and a near miss of an accident when a U-Haul driver ran the gates as they were closing somewhere outside of Chicago, we ended up being too late to catch the Capital Limited to DC...they didn't hold the train for us! I was more than a little upset, but once they arranged for us to stay in a downtown hotel and issued us tickets for the next night and I had gotten settled, eaten, and realized I was only 8 blocks from the Art Institute, I figured I would easily be able to make the best of it.

And so I did. Tuesday a.m., after eating and showering and checking out, I strolled over to the Art Institute ( and reconnoitered my favorite Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, ate a delicious lunch at one of the two cafes there, and then wandered through the modern American collections before I headed to Union Station, about 2:30, to wait for the train. We were finally successfully boarded about 5 and left without incident, except that we waited for another train to get in beforehand, which agitated some of the other people for whom they had not held the train on Monday night. But I figured c'est la vie, since I had had such a great little Chicago adventure. And we got into DC only about 2 hours late yesterday, so I figured that was a win, too.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

More Reuning

Goodie, aka Rosalie Rikkola, one of my best friends from high school, arrived for our 40th h.s. reunion on Wednesday and spent Wednesday and Thursday nights with us. Thursday she and I went out to see Donna in Mason, and Annette came out, too. We were stunned to say the least, but happy to see her, and we had a nice time catching up.

Last night Goodie and I went to the Ashland High School/Depadua High School combined pre-reunion party at the Best Western Motel on Highway 13. We weren't sure we were really in the mood, but she and her friend Judy and Judy's cousin were staying there anyhow, so we just bought a couple of drinks and went out to sit at the table in the finally cooling night air lakeside and eventually several people found us out there so it didn't require much effort on our part to socialize. I came home about 10:30 and could have stayed longer, but felt I better get to bed since I hadn't had much sleep for a couple of nights and was feeling a bit ragged despite a nap earlier in the evening.

Today and tomorrow are Bay Days(, tonight is our separate high school reunions, and Terry, Kaye and the boys should be home from North Dakota somtime tonight and I'll want to see them before Charles drives me to Tomah to catch the train on Monday morning. So it will be still be pretty busy right up to the time I leave.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Iron Jawed Angels

Yesterday afternoon Mom, Carey, Katy, Sarah and I finally watched the DVD of the fight for women's suffrage, "Iron Jawed Angels," which we had brought with us from DC with the intent to do so at some point before Carey and Sarah went back to Montana. Nothing like last minute! I remembered it as being very good, but didn't remember just how good so was re-reminded.

And seeing it reminded me of when I had taken Carey, Sarah, John and Charlotte to the Sewall-Belmont House in June
for the guided tour.The girls did the scavenger hunt for kids and had a wonderful time, with only a little help from Jennifer and the docent. When we were done, the girls and I made up verses to "We'll never give up, we'll never give in"and sang it all the way back to Union Station and occasionally after that for the rest of the time they were in D.C.

Then, a couple of nights later Charlotte and Sarah made up a little historical women's suffrage play for my husband and Carey and me...three the middle Charlotte played Eliz. Cady Stanton and Sarah was Susan B. Anthony. And since then, Sarah has been adding in "Join the ERA" somehow, somewhere in almost every picture she draws. It's really interesting where she puts's become sort of one of her standard designs along with hearts and stars,'s good and interesting to see how these things touch/change children....EXCELLENT!! And, btw, John was also very interested and impressed.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Still a Whirlwind

The days are rushing by. Saturday was spent mostly resting in the morning from Friday's activities and then in the afternoon and evening, more reuning. Carey and I attended the memorial service for Peg Jackson, an English professor we had both taken several courses with, followed by the cocktail hour before the alumnae dinner, the dinner, at which they picked the winners of the raffles, including my painting of the Northland bridge (see Sunday, February 5 in this blog), and then more socializing at the Boar's Head, now part of the Deep Water Grille (

Sunday morning I finished painting Mom's wall for the mural, (but now I am changing my idea about the mural since the wall looks so good just painted blue) and in the afternoon I rode out to Cornucopia ( with Kaye, Terry, Carey and the kids to see the progress on Kaye and Terry's cabin and then stopped at the beach so the kids could swim for awhile before we went to the Village Inn ( for dinner to celebrate Kaye and Terry's 12th anniversary. Charles and Charley Lauren, as well as Terry's dad and one of his sisters and her husband, joined us at the beach and for dinner. I drove home with Charles and Charley Lauren and we stopped at their house on the way so I could see Dylan's room, remodeled by Charles and Dylan since I had last been home.

Yesterday, Susan and Carl and Glenda and Butch all left early in the a.m. Susan and Carl headed back home to Kentucky but Glenda and Butch drove to Chicago to catch their flight to Spain, where they are planning to drive to Pamplona so Butch can run with the bulls, something he has taken a ribbing (npi) for for the last several days, ever since we all heard about it. We hope he doesn't get killed! Someone asked what Glenda was going to do while Butch ran with the bulls and Kaye's smart aleck husband Terry said, "She's going to shop with the bulls." Well, yeah.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mom and I went to Curves, met Mary Kay and Mom's friend and neighbor Betty there and then went for coffee with them before some shopping at WalMart and the County Market. We ate lunch at home and then ran in to town to see Mary Kay's new kitchen before I had a message, finally. It made me feel a whole lot better, that's for sure. Last night we all met at Copper Falls for a picnic: Mom, me and Tommy, Charles and Charley Lauren, Carey, Terry, Katy, the kids, and Mary Kay and Don. We hiked the lovely trails and then ate hamburgers and hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad and visited until almost 8 p.m.

This afternoon Mom and I, Carey and Sarah are meeting Jennifer, Charles' ex, for coffee or tea at the Black Cat Coffee House and hopefully we sisters and Mom are going to be able to to get reservations for dinner tonight at the Wild Rice Restaurant in Bayfield (

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Yesterday was the start of the annual Northland College ( reunion. This year it is an all class reunion, celebrating Northland's 100th birthday. After Tommy and I worked on wall preparation in the kitchen for the mural all morning, Carey picked me up and we went on the scheduled boat tour of the Apostle Islands ( and then met Terry, Kaye, Charles and Mom at the Old Rittenhouse Inn ( for dinner. Then Carey and I wandered over to the President's Reception at Mt. Ashwabay for an hour or so before meeting them again for the Chatauqua performance (, featuring Northland alumnae, including the regionally well known people from my classes, Charley Maguire and Pop Wagner, as well as the Voyageurs. Today we have the picnic, the memorial service for Peg Jackson, the alumnae awards banquet and social hour at the Boar's Head. It's interesting, to say the least, seeing some people for the first time in 35 years and meeting other alumnae for the first time. Things change, but some things stay the same.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bayfield, Lorraine and Mary Kay

Carey, Katy, Mom, me and cousin Lorraine went to Bayfield ( for lunch, the famous whitefish livers, at Greunke's and wandered around the little tourist shops. The only thing I bought, besides lunch, was a wonderful wine cake, a Croatian form of coffee cake made with wine and filled with cream cheese and a variety of berries or almonds...also frosted with crushed nuts on top. We brought it back and had a big slice with a cup of tea before Carey and Kaye hightailed it back to Highbridge to get the babysitter home. Lorraine left at the same time so she could follow them to Kaye's home to see it before she headed back to Hinckley, via Hayward to pick up her Katy, who stayed the night with Stacey and her family on vacation there. Lorraine had arrived late yesterday afternoon in time to get some visiting in with Aunt Mary Kay, who had come out for the afternoon, and Susie and Carl, who have been staying here, too, while they do family and reunion activities also.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Day to Savor

It was another beautiful morning and I really needed some exercise!, so after Susie and Carl left for Mellen, Mom and I walked down to look at the pond and the new spillway. When we got back, we drove in to Ashland to see Charley Lauren in the parade. At home again, I had a chance to talk with Charles for awhile and then showered up before Carey came over and she, Sarah and I went to the Visitor's Center ( Mom met us there and I drove home with her, stopping at Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way where we were surprised and happy to run into Robert and Gina and the boys, who agreed to come out to the house when they were done there.

When we got back I dug up some tiger lilies from by the greenhouse and Charles, who had just come back out with Charley Lauren, and I drove them down to the pond in the four wheeler and wagon and replanted some in four different clumps. We'll see if they take hold and spread, because Mom would really love for the pond to be ringed by them. When we returned, Sarah and Carey were back and Robert and Gina had also arrived, so we all had dinner of the potato salad Tommy had made earlier, hot dogs he grilled, Kentucky Fried and cole slaw and then several of us took a trip to the DQ.

After our trip, Charles and C.L. left to go home, Sarah, Carey and Mom went to the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, and so I and Tommy got a chance to talk with Robert and Gina. They seem to be doing remarkably well, given Carol Lynn's death so recently, and that was good to see. In the middle of it all, Lorraine returned the call I had made to her earlier and said she was going to come down to visit tomorrow and would spend the night. That was so exciting! She hasn't been down to visit since a few years before she built and opened her shop. She said she was just going to close up for a couple of days, take a vacation. So, we will see her tomorrow, too.

Robert and Gina eventually left, after saying they would be happy to take the couch Mom wanted to get rid of off her hands next week, and that they would see us again before they and we left. They are looking to move back here from Florida and anxious to reconnect to family. The little boys, Robbie and Walter, are as sweet as can be.

So, Tommy went out to water his garden, I called Jim - I wish he were here! - and now the house is quiet again....a lovely day. A day to savor.

A Day on the Lake

Yesterday Terry and Kaye took Mom, me, Carey, Sarah, Thomas and Taylor for a ride in their new boat on Lake Namakagon, near Cable. We put in from a state park about 1:30 or so and rode over to Garmisch's ( for a late lunch/early dinner. We got back to the park about 5:30 and back to Kaye and Terry's about 7. It was a beautiful day!!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


At last.

Katy and Thomas picked us up at Tomah last night. The train was two hours late from Chicago, as we had to wait for the one from NY to arrive before we could leave there. Ours was late, too, arriving only 20 minutes or so before they had to board us, but once we were on, we sat for another two hours waiting for it. But, all's well that ends well, and we're here at Kaye and Terry's. A big family picnic later this afternoon at Glenda and Butch's, and then I'll go to Mom's with her afterwards and Carey and Sarah will stay here.