Sunday, January 27, 2008


Thanks for the Venison

We spent Thanksgiving at Sandy and Al’s—and processed venison. Al and Sandy had gotten quite a few deer and we offered to help make sausage, jerky, and steaks—and that’s what we did (and did, and did). We ended up doing two batches (90 lbs each) of sausage; 30 lbs of jerky; and I don’t know how many steaks we ended up with. I know that now everyone has their freezers full of venison (and it’s been delicious)!

We spent Thanksgiving Day processing venison and then cleaned up a bit and ate our meal in the evening. Friday, we went to Minot to see LeAnn, Scott, and Kevin and their families (got to see Kevin’s new home—it’s beautiful.) And, then we did some more gift exchanging—and the stealing game again! Dylan was so funny when someone opened the same gift he had received just the week before. He said “I got that at Ross and Richard’s last week!”

On the way back to Bottineau, Sandy, Bob and I sang Christmas Carols and some other oldies—at the top of our lungs! It was great fun!

After a couple more days of processing venison—we loaded up three coolers full of venison—(poor mom didn’t have much room in the back seat)—and headed home!


Minneapolis – Go Vikings

My nephews and sister had a wonderful trip planned to go to the cities and take in a Vikings game—so we came along—just for fun. We started out by having a pre-Christmas party where we did a gift stealing game—it’s become one of our favorite things. You wrap up a bunch of ‘stuff’—some of it from the regifting closet—some good things—and some things you just plain want to get rid of. The first person opens a present, the second person can either steal that present or open another one. We had 10 people and did three rounds—so there was a lot of stealing (and laughter).

Saturday night we went to Basils for supper—they have really good food—we walked over there and it was a really nice evening—cool and crisp!

On Sunday, we went to the Vikings football game—it was the first time Bob & I had ever been—and we’ve always wanted to go. It was great fun. There ended up being 10 of us—Scott, Stacey, Dylan, Ross, Richard, Paul, Kevin, Carla, Bob and I. What made it even better was the Vikings won! Sandy and Al stayed and babysat for Parker. We rode the shuttle from the motel to the game, but decided to walk back—which took less time than how long we would have had to wait for the shuttle, even though it was a couple miles. It was cool and raining, but hey, we’re tough Vikings fans!!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Marvelous Madison

The next retreat (and last for this year) was in Madison, WI. Since it’s closer, we decided to drive—although it is a 10 hour drive. We broke it up by driving to the cities one day, then going over to Madison for the retreat. Driving back to the cities the next day and then driving home on Sunday. Since my friend, Linda, from the cities was going, we picked her up and she rode with us. It gave us a great time to visit and eat together.

It was a beautiful, sunshiny time and the Wisconsin country side is very beautiful. I was especially impressed with the area around La Crosse, WI. It is in the Mississippi River valley—so you go down through cliffs of sandstone before you cross the river. Of course there are so many neat dairy farms in Wisconsin (hence all the cheese).

Part of our retreat was right downtown--I love the Monona Terrace Convention Center--it's so beautiful!


Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled, cancelled…. Finally Alabama!!

I’ve been bragging about how lucky we’ve been without having problems with flights—well, after the delayed one to Philadelphia—we really had problems getting to Alabama. We were leaving at 11 am on Wednesday, because I was going to have meetings and make some copies on Thursday. Then Bob, Phylliss and I were going to drive to Alabama for the retreat on Friday afternoon and Saturday.

We had square dancing on Tuesday evening and got home around 11 pm. There was a message on the phone that said our Wed 11 am flight was cancelled. So I got on the phone to rebook our flight from Bemidji—it took 1 ½ hours, but we got booked on the 7 am flight. So we were going to bed at 12:45 am and set the alarm for 3 am—short night. We saw hundreds of deer on the drive down, but got there in plenty of time and then we waited and waited and waited. The flight originates in Thief River Falls and it was too foggy to land, so it ended up flying over rather than picking us up. We rebooked for the 1 pm flight and then went to the mall to kill some time—and got another call that that flight was cancelled. So we rebooked for Int’l Falls on Thursday at 11 am and drove back home. We got another call—that flight was also cancelled. I called the airport and they said they were sending a van to the cities, so we should come up at the regular time. We did—they didn’t. Instead we ended up on the 4:30 pm flight—but couldn’t get all the way to Jackson, so we ended up going to Memphis and driving to Jackson. Finally checked into our hotel at 1:30 am and had to pick up Phylliss at 8 am—another short night!

The trip from Jackson to Alexander City, AL took about 5 hours. The retreat was held at the Children’s Harbor Conference Center—which is a beautiful facility that is used by children with disabilities, but can also be rented by any group. It is right on Lake Marin, but the lake is really low because that area is experiencing a terrible drought. The buildings are all log with lots of wood both inside and out. We were in one that had a bedroom, kitchen and living room area—it was really neat.

I learned what tremendous fans the football teams in the south have—some woman came to the retreat with her Auburn crocks, shirt, pants, earrings, and jacket on. They had a game on the TV in the room next door, and every so often, someone would go to catch the score and report back to the group. As we were going home, traffic from the ‘Bama’ game was really thick—mostly going toward us.

We checked back into the hotel late Saturday evening and had Sunday to relax. Then headed home on Monday—thankfully, there were no delays. I did complain to the airline and Bob and I each received $200 vouchers for our next flight—that should almost cover what it took for the extra driving we had to do.

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