Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Gift

We are not opening Christmas gifts until New Years and we are gathered as a family. Before Christmas packages arrived for me. The packages looked like flowers. The first one was not flowers,but a box of chocolates. The second one was the above vase and flowers from Dr John. Both the chocolates and the flowers were from John.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We had a different Christmas. We didn't open gifts. We are going to wait until New Years Day, when the family will be here. We went to church to a nice service. I have had two other Christmas' that were not traditional. When Dr. john was in the hospital 30+ years ago was the first. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Green Bay. John's brother-in-law drove his mother and I down behind the ambulance. We stayed at John's cousin home as that family went to Florida. John had surgery. A friend in Crystal Falls who was caring for my children drove down so that the kids could see their father on Christmas. That is when the snow storm came. Very bad driving. I got a parking ticket how the officer found the mark on my tire I do not know. Then as I was driving back to his cousin's house I got lost because you could not see the signs. There were no gifts to give. John's cousin left cookies. John's mother kept saying Santa Claus flew right over. I can't remember if his mother got a meal. I remember I went to the cafeteria but I didn't find the food tasty.

The second different Christmas was when Dr John was in the hospital for the last major illness. That time my children were grown. Peter and Pennie came up and we celebrated at the place I was staying a converted hotel now used for families of those in the hospital. They had Christmas trees in the lounge area. Pat had to come later. We got a meal put together by the grocery store
and we used the kitchen. John could not have gifts because he was in the ICU. Pennie and I went to church Christmas Eve at Messiah. The pastor spoke about how Jesus was not at his home also.

Celebrating Jesus birthday is important even if is not traditional or on the 25th.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Not wind or snow

It was below zero and the wind chill at -40 but that did not keep us from church. We bundled up and got in the Montana Van and got through the drifts of snow. The choir along with an orchestra of young students did a Cantata. They did a very good job.
After the service the serving group provided fresh cinnamon rolls and sloppy joes along with coffee,juice, and cocoa.
Another former pastor had a picture of different trains which he gave to dr. john.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Raven's 44

Today I face another Raven's Challenge.

he words for this week's ten word challenge were: When pigs have wings, Moonlight, Mystery, Tower of Babel, Butterflies, Bread and butter, Beef barley soup, Charley horse, Novelty, Cold shoulder Mini Challenge: Software, Lottery, Newspaper, Mailman, Ringo Starr’s drum

Thirteen year old Mark continued his search for a new home, one he would be welcomed in. He settled into a community called Couldbe. There were life forms he had never seen. He saw a red horse flying, and it must be an important figure, because he saw a sign on a building having a flying red horse. Mark using his mind asked if he could shift into the form of the red horse. The horse responded,"when pigs have wings." Even though he was given a cold shoulder, the possibility of pigs with wings was not a novelty in this place. He took the form of a butterfly, without asking. Flying with the butterflies he flitted around the town, which was occupied with humanoid forms which again without asking he took the form of. There was a building which appeared to be public so he entered it. There was a man eating alone at a table. He was eating beef barley soup , and bread and butter. Mark asked if he could join him telling the waiter he would have water. The man at the table introduced himself as Charley Horse. Mark snickered. Mark repeated, " Charley horse like a leg cramp?" The man was offended , got up and paid for his meal, leaving Mark at the table alone. Mark also left following the man called Charley out.

It was now evening. Mark continued his exploration of the town. The moonlight made it easy to see. He discovered a object which was a mystery to him. A large form in the middle of a field. It was a very tall structure which reminded Mark of the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Around the structure were pigs and they had wings. Now to find that flying red horse.

Mini Challenge;

Sandy read the newspaper Bay News while she waited for the mailman. The mailman was really the mail carrier because it was a woman. She had ordered some new software and was anxious for it to arrive. There was an article about Ringo Starr's drum being shown at the library. A picture accompanying the article . In the corner at the bottom she could see her penguin it was holding up a small sign with words lottery numbers, below which were the numbers. She was tempted to forget about the software and go buy a lottery ticket. Could she trust the penguin? She thought about the gift shop, her date, and the last incident with the roulette wheel. the man in the white hat said that the penguin was para-normal. She was not sure what that meant he had not had the time to meet with her yet. It could mean that the penguin could see into the future and these were the winning numbers, or it could be another way to get her into trouble. Would others see the picture and infer the same numbers? Sandy put on her coat and grabbed the keys to the car. Maybe she would be a winner. She fought the temptation but it won . To the store to get a winning ticket. What could go wrong?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I have been staying in the last couple of days because of the weather. Cold, not just cold but bitterly cold. I guess that true for everyone in the middle of the country. We are preparing for more snow. O K it is winter.
As far as Christmas preparations: Done some shopping and some wrapping. I decorated the new mantle. I found the stocking holders but not the stockings. Our stockings were knitted by John's aunt Bessie. She gave them to us the first year of our marriage. After the birth of each child she gave them a stocking. Bessie has past away so the stockings mean a lot, but I am not sure of where we packed them. The three moves mean we still have boxes not found. We stayed with my daughter when we first moved here so they may be at her place and she has not had time to begin decorating.
Now I must go get Maggie.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two For Story

Before you read this truly unremarkable story just a few words about how it came into existence. John and I decided it would be fun to write a story together and thus the idea for this story was born. To keep us from killing each other a few rules were devised.
1. Each person would write one line and then the other a line until the end of the story.
2. We would not discuss what we had in mind or where we wanted the story to go.
3. No hitting or screaming.
This then is the product of our effort published on both blogs on the same day.

Sandy was just becoming comfortable with living with the stupid penguin when she found the two messages from Father Bill on her answering machine. Of all people, Father Bill wanted to know about the penguin. He wanted her to come down to the church hall now even though this was the day of the big casino fund raising effort and the place would be packed. She dressed quickly and grabbed the recently gifted stuffed penguin.
Ann Haggerty met her at the door to the hall and asked her if she knew anything about roulette wheels as it seems nobody could get the church's new wheel to work. Sandy looked at Ann with an odd expression on her face.Out of the corner of her eye she saw her penguin rushing toward the wheel. She felt that there was going to be trouble ,or maybe help,because that penguin was so unpredictable.Suddenly, the wheel began to turn and it certainly looked like it was working. Applause echoed through the hall, and Ann grabbed a bouquet of yellow roses used too decorate the hall and gave them to Sandy.
Sandy, however, was more concerned about where the penguin had disappeared to and what it was up to now. She excused herself , and walked into the sanctuary. Father Bill was not there so she went immediately to his office and waited for him to come back. There was a side door to the office, which opened, causing her to jump back in response . At the same moment she saw through the window her penguin running up and down on the fire escape of the building next door and being watched by a strange man in a white hat. Brother Joe had come in the door and commented on her watching the man in the white hat. Sandy not being able to say anything about the penguin on the fire escape said she had just noticed the fancy sunglasses the guy was wearing and thought she might get a pair.

Sandy heard a commotion coming from the hall , so she left the office running past the softly lit candles in the sanctuary. It seems the wheel was now stopping on number 10 every time and Ann was about as angry as you can get. Sandy said," The penguin did it. The penguin in the cinnamon floppy hat and the yellow jacket did it." It was at that point that the man in the white hat showed up, took her by the arm, and said " They can't see him dear".

"He looks like this." Sandy pushed the stuffed penguin in his face sobbing softly. " I know dear. I can see him. Father Bill called me in to help you. I'm an expert on the para-normal."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Who's Money Is It?

Who's Money Is It?

Frank Short a portly man dressed in his Vegas duds of a yellow Hawaiian shirt and shorts sat down at the roulette wheel placing his bet. Although winning was his hope, his mind was else where. The guilt of where he got his money was over riding his concentration on the game, now going over and over in his mind the reasoning he used. He won. He collected his chips and placed more down. The wheel again turned. As long as he was winning it didn't matter ,but he continued to scan the room filled with gamblers. It was loud from the noise of the machines and roar of the winners. He was glad it was smoke free, because his lungs were bad. He lost. He picked up his chips and left the table for now, a rule he made to himself.
Frank had left Joyce Sarii in the hotel room changing. He had met Joyce on this tour. She laughed at his jokes and he loved her smile. She had become a fine companion. She also was a very lucky lady. He had taken her out for dinner, and as they were returning to their rooms she had placed a dollar in the slot machine and won big. She had cashed out her chips and had left the winnings sitting on the bed. Waiting brought temptation. There it sat lying on that plaid coverlet. I could double or triple that amount by the time she is ready to go, reasoned Frank.
"I am going back to the casino. I will be back to pick you up soon." he shouted out to Joyce while he picked up as much of the cash as he could.
Frank knew there was no more time and he would have to get back to Joyce's room to replace the money,but before he went back he thought a bouquet of flowers would draw her attention as he replaced the money. At the flower shop in the hotel ,he bought a bouquet of pretty yellow flowers . He knocked on the door, and there was no response. He knocked again, and still she didn't come to the door. She had given him her extra key. He used it and entered the room. The winnings that were on the bed were now gone. He looked around the room and there was no Joyce, but her things were still there. The answering machine flashing indicated a message. It was only her daughter checking on her. As he moved about, the sunglasses he had in his pocket fell out. He did not notice. He heard a ruckus in the hallway. He looked out and there was Joyce talking to security guards. Would he be facing jail time? Joyce was on the right,but on the left was a fire escape and a way out. He walked at a normal pace as he went to the door leading to the fire escape, upon reaching the stairs he went into a speedy flight. When he was on the ground Franks freedom was short lived , because the fire escape door had an alarm. He had left in Joyce's room flowers and sunglasses.
Greed had ruined a great vacation.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Raven's Challenge 43

Today I face another Raven's Challenge.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: Horny as a toad, Frankenstein’s sister, Greeks bearing gifts, Holiday, Cheese grater, Gridlock, Drip dry, Coffin maker, movie mogul, Turkish coffee

Mini Challenge: prenuptial agreement, The purple cow just hated the orange cat, potato chips, sari, Hammer and nails

Search For A New Home-Ten Word Challenge

"I know." replied the Captain to his adopted thirteen year old son Mark. His threats against the ship and possible take over were all possible. Mark had great power, as did all the zonics. The Captain remained still waiting for Mark to get a cooler head. Mark turned his back and shapeshifted into his true form of a blue globe, and vanished into the wall of the ship. " Mark" the captain cried.

Mark moved away from the ship but had no direction. He thought about all the trouble he had been causing. Maybe it was best for him to leave,to find a place for himself. It would not be his home planet. Someone from there wanted him dead, leaving him as an infant on uninhabited planet. As he traveled he searched with his mind for some kind of being. He heard what sounded like a melody. Some being was singing. This being was inside a log like structure. There were other similar structures in a circle. He entered the structure and saw a singing bipedal creature using a cheese grater on a small table. He took the form of a chair. She resembled what Mark thought the monster Frankenstein's sister would look like, horny as a toad. She wore a simple plain colored dress. On a near by wood stove was a pot of what smelled like Turkish coffee. Hanging across the room was a cord from which hung candles drip drying. Mark from his advantage point could see out the window and there was forming a large group of beings that resembled the female[or what he assumed was a female]but it looked like a mixed group. They were shoving and pushing one another. " We want the coffin maker. We want the coffin maker." they cried. There was a being coming from the back of the crowd caring packages. He tried to get to the front of the crowd but found gridlock. The package caring individual finally made it to the front. "Coffin maker it is a Holiday come and see." Mark could see this was not a holiday looking group, and he did not feel a holiday spirit coming from them. Were they Greeks bearing gifts? Out of a back room came a tall being. He opened the door, and as he did so Mark saw that from behind the backs of the crowd came large bat like sticks. He shapeshifted to be like the beings shouting"Don't let them in"Cut!" A fancy dressed being came out from the back room. All eyes were on Mark. It was then he noticed the well disguised cameras. An irate movie mogul faced him. Oh great, his shapeshifting would be on camera. It was of course of a chair to these beings. The cameras were not rolling now, and this is not where he wanted to make his home. He shapeshifted to his blue globe and left the building and out into space.

Mini Challenge;

Sandy Shore was reading the early morning news paper. She was dressed in her comfortable sari and sipping her coffee. She read the nuptial column and wondered how many had prenuptial agreements. She sighed she would have to get to putting up a shelf for the stuffed animals she had collected over the years. Her favorite was the purple cow ,which just hated the orange cat. She went to the cupboard and took out the hammer and nails ,along with a bag of potato chips for her pesky penguin, which she was sure would make an appearance later that day. Her sighting of the penguin was now to her common place. There was a knock at the door and there it was with the cinnamon floppy hat and yellow jacket. She let him in and it went to the stuffed animals piled on the floor waiting for a place on the new shelf. The penguin chose the orange cat and carried it out of the house. After a short time the penguin returned with a stuffed penguin with a cinnamon colored hat and a yellow jacket. The penguin ate the potato chips and Sandy put up the shelf and aligned up the stuffed animals.

Monday, December 8, 2008


My son came up from Madison to put up the mantel that my daughter gave me for Christmas last year. We think we had a part left out and we couldn't find the directions. My daughter first bought what proved to be only a front to the fireplace and not the mantel. She then went out and bought the shelf. That was last year . She stained all the pieces not knowing what was needed. We found also that the shelf was longer than the fireplace. After all she went through I didn't want her to go get another shelf so I said put up that shelf. They went out on the net to see if they could find directions and that is when we found we didn't have the part they asked for. Not to be stopped he found some wood in the garage that looked liked it could be used. The mantel is up.

While the mantel was being put up. My grandchildren brought up the tree and decorations. We put up the tree and hung the decorations. The oldest and I went out in the cold and hung some lights on the fence. We had lights that used solar energy. We hung them on the far side of the fence, so we don't know if they can be seen.

On Sunday we went to church. After the service in the fellowship hall they had a Silent Auction.

I got a fishing trip for the summer for the grandchildren. They had small items that the children could bid on also. They had a good time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Raven's 42

Today I face another Raven's Challenge.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: think the rain’ll hurt the rhubarb?, B Vitamins, credit card, jolly, angels, mouse, three ring circus, haiku, sponge, copper
Mini Challenge: compulsive, trunk, African violets, curiosity, UFO
  • Ten Word Challenge-The Attack
The military aboard the space ship Horizon move to their posts. The hits could be felt. There were failures about the ship of necessary equipment only to go back in to commission with no visible fix. No enemy was seen, no injuries reported. Bodies moved around like they were in a three ring circus. Captain Clark's ship was failing and he couldn't tell why. He wiped his forehead with a near by sponge. He felt a strong pressure in his brain and a thought came forward.Think the rain'll hurt the rhubarb? What? He thought to himself. He should be taking more BVitamins. In front of the counsel he saw a copper angel holding a mouse. The ship took another hit.

"Call off the alert" he announced."I know how to stop this attack."

He left the bridge and walked to Mark's quarters. As he moved the ship took some more hits.

"open" the door opened and Mark a dark blue globe rested in a nest like container. The printer on the desk was sending out a page with a haiku. The globe then did a slow transformation to a young tall slim Mark that Captain Clark knew as his son.

"A jolly good day to you Captain."Mark said.
"stop it now." The Captain said in a stern voice. " What do you think you will gain by this trickery?" The bombardment stopped.
" We all left your quarters and no decision was made."
" You thought that this trickery would show you as a responsible person? "
The Captain was trying to contain his anger. How could an highly intelligent individual like Mark not understand that this incident might be forcing him into having to have Mark leave the ship.
Mark's demeanor changed and the Captain could see that he was understanding the problem. Then there came another change and Mark stood directly in front of his father and in a threatening voice said" There is no way that you can get me to leave this ship. I can force you into keeping me. In fact I can take over this ship, if I want."
This was not the first time that the father and son had confronted each other. Captain Clark had scars from earlier years, but he had always prevailed. Could he use his credit card again?

Mini Challenge:

Sandy Shore had a curiosity about a UFO sighting. Maybe the penguin was from a UFO. It was not your ordinary penguin. As she watered the African Violets, she thought about the books and articles on UFO's stored beneath the violets in the old steamer trunk. She took off the violets and placed them on the floor, and started to open the trunk and changed her mind,placing the plants back. Then she changed her mind and took them off again. She compulsively put them on and off the trunk. She finally made up her mind and put the plants down and took out the information on UFO. There was no information about penguins near the UfO's but they could have missed it. She decided to drive out to where the UFO was seen. There was a crowd of people around the area. She began by questioning those gathered and no one said anything about a penguin.