30 June 2009

Oh, hello there, July...

The first month of summer has buzzed by at its usual rapid pace. I've been doing a whole lot of nothing, which is how it should be, at least a little bit. I do fear arriving to about August 15 and thinking, "Holy @(*&^! I haven't gotten anything done this summer!!" I guess I'd better kick it up a notch, then.

As previously mentioned, a dear old friend came to visit for a short afternoon, but it was just like we'd never been apart. Easygoing conversation and fun. We ran to town to help with our church's entry in the annual kiddie parade. Pastor salvaged the little train and we pull it out for just such occasions. We started handing out freezie pops instead of candy a few years back and it's been a big hit. After the kids disbursed and raided the playground, my friend and I just hung out and wandered around downtown for a while, chatting and enjoying the evening, which ended all too soon, since he had a long drive home.

Montevideo's Fiesta Days have been going on for the better part of 60 years, experiencing the same ebb and flow of community involvement and activity as any other small-town celebration. In the past few years, a few new activities, such as the hobo village in our Milwaukee Road Heritage Museum (depot and turntable) and a flurry of activities around the newly-built playground in the city park. A few years back, when main street had been renovated and everyone was all about "downtown revitalization," most activities took place on main street. Guess I prefer the shade of the park.

Be that as it may, the parade committee (where I served my time in 1993) is fond of saying that the parade has been rained on but never rained out. The rain sure tried this year. It rained all morning, then let up for the start of the parade, just to come back and dump buckets on the last 1/3 of the 2-hour flotilla. There was no severe threat, though, so the participants trooped on through. The Things made out like bandits on candy, since attendance was down and most all the entries had a buttload of sugary goodness to bestow. There's still a stash on my fridge.

I think our train is way cooler than this guy's, though...

Since then, it seems like deskwork and appointments have eaten a lot of my time. We closed on my MIL's house, and have been burning the road between our place and the dentist and orthodontist, spending the proceeds. Planning for a shingle crew to be here soon, too Have also been getting my brother's affairs in order and got his marker ordered from the VA. Lots of little projects to eat my time. The teenage Things are itching to get their rooms painted, and Thing 3 has been waiting patiently for hers, as well.

We'll be spending the 4th with iPastor's brother and extended family at a lake home a couple hours north. This week has been beautiful and the weather holds promise for the weekend as well. All of you have a safe and happy Independence Day!!

18 June 2009

17 June 2009

and the livin' is easy...

Back in action at Casa del Goose after a long weekend in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Our van has been starting 9/10, so we opted to take the car, since we were down a kid and could all fit. It was good news/bad news all weekend, as we spent the bulk of it visiting pawn shops, thrift stores and rummage sales. It really limited our cargo space, which prevented us from buying items like trap sets and game tables, but maybe that's OK.
We got a pretty good start and stopped for a lengthy coffee break in Fargo, meeting up with iPastor's high school friend. We cruised the pawn shops and music stores, then headed west to Jamestown, for a mostly surprise 40th birthday party for my friend from college. After that, we had two low-stress days of simply hanging out with no agenda. Did the aforementioned thrifting, scoring a few bargains, including an 8-man tent. We also hit a cache of old, well-kept, kitchen acoutrements. The solid, not plastic, non-teflon coated wares that hold up to years of grandmothers. I love that stuff. Scored an apple peeler, a steel wok, and a stick malt mixer.
The kids played video games, watched movies, and hung out at the public pool. So did the grownups. Sunday morning we headed to church with our friends. Couldn't skip, she's the pastor. Afterwards, we started out for home on a slightly altered route, stopping in Watertown to take my sis-in-law for birthday lunch. We rolled into our own yard, reuniting with the kid who'd been travelling with the high school choir in NYC. We immediately switched to the van, and headed to town for the baby nephew's second bday party in the park. Needless to say, we were a bit wrung out when we got home.
The next day, iPastor and the kids set up the tent to make sure we had all the parts and check for holes, etc. It came together with minimal fuss, and the kids immediately set up shop with a drop cord, dvd player, and dorm fridge. Rouging it certainly is different than when I was a kid.
After Christmas, my Facebook exploded with many friends from high school and college. These electronic reunions have resulted in several face-to-face reunions planned for this summer. Tomorrow, a dear friend and groomsman, whom we had lost touch with for a few years, will come to visit. I'm stoked! Now I should really get to work. Yuck.

08 June 2009

Oh, hi there, summer!

After taking forever to get here, summer is upon us. Wow. The kids hosted a last-day-of-school bonfire, we've done a little putzing about the house, we took a day trip to Sioux Falls to hang with friends and take in the Siouxland Renaissance Festival, and we have a 4-day weekend planned. Next week a friend is back in Minnesota from the east coast, so I'll work in a visit. If it continues to rocket along at this pace, summer will be gone a lot quicker than it came!