Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buckle Up

Whew! If 2009 is anything like 2008 I need to buckle my seat belt and hold on tight. Last year blessed me with 2 new grandchildren, a two month Grecian hiatus, a bumper crop of giant cherry tomatoes, a 7 week (and still counting) trip to frigid Wisconsin, a three week trip to sunny California, foot surgery, retirement, and three new housemates. It was a lively twelve months. Today was Jesse's 33rd. B-day and Ted's 61st. In the past they always got together and cooked a birthday meal. In honor of that culinary tradition I made homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch and Jesse and Evelyn made a mile-high apple pie which we all enjoyed before Kevin drove Jesse back to Milwaukee. Surgery to close up Oliver's chest is scheduled for Friday morning.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

By next year I should be able to smile and play at the same time.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Link to Oliver

It's taken me forever, but I have finally made it easy for readers to find out the latest on Baby Oliver. Click on Truncus Arteriosus at the bottom of My Blog List (to the left of this blog.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Night Night Mama & Papa

I like youxcfdgwyyytywyu7e3725526
I love Turnip from me to you.

E is for Evelyn

Evelyn ate the first three letters of the alphabert for breakfast. Tomorrow she'll have D, E, and F.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sleeping Beauty

Evelyn insists on having her stuffed animals arranged just so every night as she goes to sleep. Tonight Mr. Zebra and Teddy Graham were tucked safe under her pepe.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Evelyn helped form the turkey meatballs that we had with our spaghetti.

LaLee's Helper

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Assembly Required

It's Spreading

Any diagnosis???

The Newest Family Blogger

uyuuuuc6c7x/vyuz/cuc;xxxx8x9x;ghh/p 8888888888888ciiiiiigvgooooooooooooooooooovoppox689
I love mama and papa and baby Oliver.
mvbvxnzgzkkzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz/ocudvkxcccc/xiffffffffffffffidffvddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddzfdddiffu /oxcxk/;dsssssssssssssssssfggfgdddd.
The love from me to Turnip. That's what I love, Turnip a lot.

Merry Christmas

This is the most unusual Christmas I've ever had, but Christmas music is playing, snow"s piled high and the calendar says December 25... so Merry Christmas. Teddie has already called and I saw Oliver (on the net) dressed in his red reindeer outfit. He looks like I remember Alex looking not too long ago. Evelyn is prancing around and almost ready for some of the whole wheat/buttermilk pancakes I keep in the refrigerator. It was good to talk to the birthday boy last night. (My father celebrated his 89th birthday with 20 other family members.) Next year I will be there, too. I promise. I felt like Ted was here with me because he posted so many comments on my latest round of blogs. I know he takes time to make thoughtful comments and I appreciate that today more than ever. Won't be long and I'll be swimming in that gorgeous pool, riding the crowded buses and walking my husband to work!! I miss all of my family but know we're together in thought. I'm expecting a barrage of Christmas photos posted by all you bloggers in the next few hours. Love, L.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hibernating (temporarily)

Peculiar Rash


Pink and purple are Evelyn's favorite colors.


Our mailbox is normally chest high on me.


next door's run

Another Snowy Day

shots taken in front of the house

For Great Aunt Jane

Thank you for the hat and the purse. I love them.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lowest Yet

Sunday morning 7 a.m. Later in the day it was -30 due to wind chill.


Jesse left her new laptop with me... so I can communicate much easier. Weather dictates all our moves. Kevin returned from Milwaukee today at 12:30. I immediately jumped in the car and ran to the store. Mary arrived and we opened Christmas presents together, then ate a simple meal together. With snow expected tonight, all day tomorrow and into Wednesday morning, Jesse and Kevin headed back to the Ronald McDonald House tonight. They will be all set to be there for Oliver's surgery at 7:40 on Wednesday morning. Evelyn is here and should be easily entertained with new toys and more snow. We will probably open more presents when all the hullabaloo dies down. Packages from RI Peshes and Kansas Andersons arrived after everyone had departed.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cranberry Chipolte Cheese

WI cheese at its best. The Carr Valley Cheese store is two blocks away.

Another Cooking Project

Top photo shows bowls of finished gnocchi. Everyone who helped shovel our driveway got some. Bottom one is of Evelyn, half-dressed, kneading the dough.

WI Sunsets

View from the back window. Twenty degrees out. 4:45 pm.


Am sitting in the Middleton Library, alone. Ahhhh. Kevin and Jesse surprised Evelyn and me just as we were getting ready top throw birdseed out the back door. What a welcome surprise. Turns out their cell phone died so they couldn't call to let us know they were on their way. I have 40 more minutes till I need to return home so that Kevin can get back to Milwaukee. Jesse will stay in Middleton till Monday when she will return with Kevin and Evelyn. They are settled at the Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee. We had a huge snowstorm that left 10 " of snow everywhere. I shoveled for 2 hours, but luckily two neighbors stepped up and finished the job. I met more people while I was out shoveling than at any other time. Baby Oliver was born on Dec. 15 and is doing well. Check out Jesse's blog for more info. He is scheduled for surgery on my father's 89th B-day, Dec. 24. Evelyn will return to Middleton on Monday with her great aunt, who will be returning from N. Wisconsin. Shuffling of bodies. Evelyn was ecstatic to see her mama and I'm sure after 6 weeks of hospital living Jesse is relieved to be home. Hope to post some photos when I get home. Am going upstairs now to get a fresh supply of 3 year old reading material and then on to a local cheese store where I'm going to treat myself to a chunk of cranberry chipolte cheddar.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

WI Christmas Tree Hunt

Only a ten minute drive from Evelyn's home... Summers Tree Farm.

Evelyn's New Pet

Evelyn's early Christmas present from Grandma Lalee

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chasing the Moon

Kevin, Evelyn and I jumped in the car at 4:20 this afternoon in search of a WI farm with the largest moon in 15 years hanging over it. We only went 10 minutes from their house. Roads were icy and crowded with commuters. We might try to get a shot tomorrow morning.

WI State Capitol

taken a few weeks ago before the snow had begun

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eight Inches

Final snow fall amounts for that latest storm were about 8 " where we are. It is 0-10 degrees when we wake up every morning. Snow is piled up to the bottom of the four foot high mail box and banked along the driveway. I can't imagine any of it melting in the near future. Kevin commented that he thinks we've had more snow this year to date than last year. Last year was a record breaker for Wisconsin. Evelyn is coughing a bit so yesterday we did not go outside. Instead we built a fort with chairs and blankets, made a pinecone mobile, and rode our scooters in the basement. My cooking skills are quickly deteriorating. Yesterday I made chocolate chip cookies and forgot the last 1/4 cup of flour. I also tried jello jigglers, but did not have a recipe. I left them in the hot water to unmold them a bit too long. Then tried to rechill them. Evelyn ate the blobby stuff at 7:00 and was awake till 10 pm. She won't be eating anymore after 3 pm!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


It is only 9:30 am and already the driveway and front walkway have been shoveled twice. About 7" this time and it is supposed to continue thru the day and night. Maybe 12" when it's all done. This is one snowy place!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


When I retired I decided to look into playing a musical instrument that would be portable and that my stiff fingers could manage. Everything obvious was out of the question because my right fingers don't bend very well. I finally decided that the dulcimer would suit my needs. y right hand only strums, the left one does the picking. I went on line and was overwhelmed trying to figure out what type of dulcimer to get. I had no idea what to do and spoke to some musical friends of mine. No one was much help. Not many dulcimer players in Wakefield. But whenever I spoke to someone I'd let them know what I was planning. Jesse told me that Aunt Mary played guitar with a little group at the Barneveld Library and the group included a dulcimer player. To make a long story short... The very helpful librarian at Barneveld gave me a one hour start up lesson on the dulcimer AND let me borrow one of her dulcimers. I am now practicing when Evelyn goes to bed and finding that YES.... I CAN PLAY AN INSTRUMENT! She even loaned me a book of songs, and recommended what type of instrument I should get. She was so helpful. The library was a 30 X 20 foot building..... Amazing what you may find in a small snow covered town in WI.

Barneveld, WI.

Evelyn and I spent the past day and a half with her Great Aunt Mary in the countryside, 45 mintes from Madison. We can only see two other farms from her house. It is peaceful and quieter than quiet. After the snow falls its fun to follow the deer, mouse and rabbit tracks. Evelyn especially enjoyed sliding down the berm on the side of Mary's garage and sitting in the red sled as Mary pulled her 1/4 mile and back up to her mailbox on "H." Evelyn is pretty obsessed with the road names and likes watching the signs on the side of the county roads. They are all named after letters. She told me in no uncertain terms that the roads we took to get the Mary's were 18-151, then "K", then "H." We had a great time out there. You don't even want to know how cold it was when I took these photos.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Third snowfall of the year in progress. Buses still running, but Kevin and Evelyn have cancelled their trip to Milwaukee today. Weatherman says we will get 3-5 inches. Temperature this morning... 25. Cold.