Friday, July 30, 2010

A Sad Note

One of my favorite people passed away last week, my uncle Jim. His funeral was today. An unexpected battle with cancer took him from his loved ones much too soon. He was only 64. Jim was my mom's youngest brother. He had the biggest, kindest, and most gentle heart. He loved his family, he loved nature, he loved music....we all loved him. He is and will be missed.

At his funeral today they played one of his favorite Bill Staines songs....funny thing is, it's one of my favorite Bill Staines songs too. It's "River".

River by Bill Staines
I was born in the path of the winter wind,
I was raised where the mountains are old.
Their springtime waters came dancing down,
And I remember the tales they told.
The whistling ways of my younger days
Too quickly have faded on by,
But all of their memories linger on
Like the light in a fading sky.
Chorus: River, take me along
In your sunshine, sing me a song.
Ever moving, and winding and free;
You rolling old river, you changing old river,
Let's you and me, river, run down to the sea.
I've been to the city and back again,
I've been moved by some things that I've learned;
Met a lot of good people and I've called them friends
Felt the change when the seasons turned.
I've heard all the songs that the children sing,
And listened to love's melodies;
I've felt my own music within me rise
Like the wind in the autumn trees.
Someday when the flowers are blooming still
Someday when the grass is still green
My rolling waters will round the bend
And flow into the open sea.
So here's to the rainbow that's followed me here,
And here's to the friends that I know;
And here's to the song that's within me now
I will sing it where'er I go.
River, take me along
In your sunshine, sing me a song.
Ever moving, and winding and free;
You rolling old river, you changing old river,
Let's you and me, river, run down to the sea.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daily Photos

I'm trying to not get so far behind with the daily photos. I think the summer has zapped my energy for regular posts. It's either the summer or just having the boys home that has me zapped. Zapped. I like that word today.

Photos of flowers. I do love flowers. And butterflies. The cone flowers are my favorites right now. They just seem so natural somehow. No fluff, no fuss, just a beautiful addition to the landscape.

Eric and Billy were on a mission trip last week, so Brian and I had the house to ourselves. We decided to redo Brian's room. It's still not done...but we did get it painted. Funny thing is, his room was blue when we moved here, he chose a roasted pecan (orangish tan) color to make it his own. Now he's decided that he wants it blue. I think it's funny. He helped with the to spend time working together. I'll do a before and after picture / post when it's done.

Eric and I took some time and went golfing on Saturday. I'm going on a ladies golf weekend on Friday, and hadn't been out yet this year so I figured there was no time like the present. It was a beautiful day, my golf game, not so beautiful. I think I have a date with the driving range tonight. Eric, on the other hand, hits the ball so far I can't see it anymore. We golfed with one of our friends, Kris. She's a good golfer...and patient with my hacking away. Best kind of friend to have. :-)

On Sunday we drove up to visit my mom. We had lunch, we worked her front step where the chipmunks have been digging, we went shopping for more supplies, we met Eric's folks for supper....

...and by the time we got the finishing cement under the step it was evening. We took the long way home to see this.....

...and this. There isn't much that is prettier than a sunset in the country. Except maybe a sunset / sunrise over the ocean, or river, or....well....anywhere. But it was nice. This view was on one side of the car.....

....and the full moon came up on the other side. The sky was so pretty.

The camera can never quite capture how beautiful it really is. Well, maybe the camera can and I can' was a pretty night.

Yesterday, Eric went back to work, our routine at home felt a little bit more normal, and I took a picture of a white cone flower.

I couldn't help it, they are my favorite right now. It's summer, life is good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What I've Been Up To

It's been a busy few weeks....too busy...that's my excuse for not updating my blog for 11 days. So today, I'm catching up. It's a long one, but mostly pictures. Grab some coffee.

A couple of Saturdays ago we headed up to the cabin to spend some time with Eric's brothers family. They have been visiting from Oregon. It's always good to see them. The visit started off with a game of Jarts...I think it's Jarts.....yard darts, the newer safe kind, not the poke it through someones foot old fun kind. This is Brian jumping out of the way of Billy's throw while Shelly, Eric and Hannah look on. Chris was hiding behind the trees. Good plan.

It was nice to have a full table at the cabin. Billy, Hannah, Brian, Eric and his brother Chris.

The hostesses with the mostesses....Eric's parents Barb and Bill.

They always graciously invite my mom to be a part of the fun. Somehow I missed Chris' wife Shelly in the around the table shot. Sorry Shelly!

In the evening we decided to venture up the hill to see if we could catch a didn't seem likely, it was pretty cloudy......but boy were we surprised to see this. Something about a beautiful sunset that makes me feel like we've just seen God today.

Sunday morning we left the cabin and headed back to the city for my great-niece's baptism. Baby Avery was baptised with 3 other little ones in a special service of their own.

My mom took this picture, it's better than mine....she gets some pretty nice shots with her little digital Kodak! Such a pretty baptismal fount in the big church.

Four mom, my brother, my niece and her daughter. Special day.

We took a quick shot before the hot baptism gown came off! So cute.

After the baptism we drove back to the country to spend some more time with Chris' family. We made a quick stop at the farm to check on the horses. Czar was checking with Billy to see if he had any text messages.

There are a couple of new boarders at the farm, Billy was saying hi to Breezy.

Penny loves the country life. Me too.

The neddles, or itch weed, were in full bloom. Nasty plants but pretty with the sun shining on them.

Lots of wild yarrow was blooming too.

Brian and Chris went for an evening canoe ride....

...what better spot to catch the setting sun than the river?

Isn't it beautiful?

I should have mentioned that Eric, my mom, Shelly and I were in the boat.

We caught up to these two upstream.

Sunset on the water in front of us.... clouds over the water behind us.

It was a nice way to end our busy weekend.

I tried to get a canoeing silhouette...but the boys were speeding across the river too fast to get a good would have been better if their heads showed don't you think??

Brian got out of the canoe and onto the raft to do some river surfing....or something.

I stepped into the river to get one last shot....the colors were yummy. I think we saw God again that day.

We got home late Sunday night, Eric had to work on Monday morning and I had to get the slide show ready for Billy's baseball party. Monday was the first day in over 1.5 years that I forgot to take a picture of the day....but I did do some art work for the slide show and created a .jpg from I'm counting this as the photo of the day for Monday.

Worked on slide show on Monday, softball Monday night, worked on slide show Tuesday...finished at around 3:30...couldn't get the DVD burner to work on my computer. Tried and tried...the party was that night...tried some more....still no luck. Eric got home from work, I left for my softball game, Eric tried burning it (after transferring all the files) on a different computer...and it worked. Just in time for the party. Eric texted me that it worked while I was at my game. I snapped this picture of the sky after our softball game....had a cold beverage with the girls and then raced off to the party. Sheesh...too much stress for me.

Wednesday was a busy, busy work day. I did take the time to snap a picture of this lily in my garden.

Thursday we met Eric's family at the Twins game. It is really tough to get tickets at the new Target Field, it is even tougher to get them for a big group. The 11 of us sat in the very last row of the top tier of the high as you could get.

But the view was good. The breeze at our backs was a welcome relief from the heat. Chris' older children flew to Minnesota the night before to join their family. This picture is of Hannah and Hayley...Nathan is hidden behind his sister....Billy and Shelly are in the background.

Billy and loving cousins.

The sunset behind us was a nice bonus with our seats so high in the sky.

A self portrait of Eric and I....just to prove that we were there too!!

A bad picture of the whole family...taken by me.....note to self......take pictures of people from above, not below.

It was Brian's first game at Target Field...he said he liked it. :-)

Chris' family stayed over night at our house after the the morning we all went to Valley Fair for a day of rides and fun in the hot sun. I left the camera at home...but snapped a picture of the moon at the end of the day.

Saturday we headed back to Taylors Falls for more time with the family and the local town celebration....Wannigan Days. One of the newer events is a tug of war between Taylors Falls and the town across the river, St. Croix Falls. They have different groups that compete...some how Billy got asked to pull for the local Tavern. So serious waiting for the cannon to shoot to start the competition.

Pull Billy! I thought that the contrast between Billy and his fellow team mate was pretty funny. How did Billy get in with that crowd?? :-)

Pull Billy!!

Rumor has it that the wet rope weighs 1000 lbs. 25 people were pulling on each side. I didn't get a good shot of the rope stretching across the river, but you can kind of see it here.

They worked hard, but didn't quite find their rhythm....the cheese heads won. I mean the fine folks from Wisconsin won. They actually won 3 of the 5 events. Bummer. Maybe next year.

After a Lion's Club lunch at the rope pull we headed to the cabin. The weather got a little rainy, it was a good day to be inside. Here cousin Logan is playing with a classic cabin game...I don't remember what it's called, but you can create shapes with colored tiles. The old games are the best.

The other cousin's were playing a board game of some kind.

The rain stopped in time for the evening parade. Some more cousin's of Eric's came to visit. Mary Jane, Roger, cousin Sally from Texas, Eric, my mom, Shelly and Chris lined up to watch the parade.

The other generation of cousins hung out on the street to score some candy.

And to wave at Barb and Bill as they drove past.

It was dark, my pictures were blurry...but they were driving a car with the "Lady of the Village" and her husband in back.

As the parade went on the sky got interesting....

....very interesting.

About the time the parade was ending the severe storm sirens went off. People sort of sat around and looked at each other. Eventually the town cleared out. I went to my mom's, Eric went to his folks house and called to tell us the radar looked we hit the basement for a while. No damage was done around us. We drove home late on Saturday after the storm, a lot of the stop lights were out because of no power. It was a long day.

We had come home on Saturday so Eric and Billy could leave on Sunday morning for a mission trip with our church. I was supposed to go back to Taylors Falls that day for my class reunion...but I was just plain too tired to go.

Too tired and too sad. My uncle passed away on Saturday after a short battle with cancer. My mom's youngest brother. Only 64....and the kindest man you'd ever want to know. He will be missed. I know too well the pain his family is feeling.

Busy times, stressful times, good times, sad's been an eventful 11 days.

Today I'm hoping to get back into some sort of routine. Starting with blogging....and then laundry, and weeding, and lazy summer days. School supplies are in the stores, summer will be over before we know it....but it's here today and I'm going to enjoy it. I hope you do too.