Sunday, March 31, 2019

Dream Project

Mom's Assisted Living facility, Potter Ridge, held their Dream Project Ceremony yesterday, a wonderful conclusion to a huge project and effort by the staff, residents, family and importantly, the sponsors and donors to the project.  Well attended, a lovely spring afternoon for everyone to gather, award and for the residents to be awarded their Dream Wishes.

There were many dreams requested with the attempt to fulfill carried forward.  A Hot Air Balloon Ride that you were introduced a few blog Posts ago was something that will happen once the weather is fit for open air flight.  There was Lorraine's request to once again visit the historic Sheldon Theater in Red Wing, a place she'd visited, not returned to since she was a teenager and as she herself mentioned, that was a long time ago.  Still, my favorite request of them all was Bill's hope to visit a cattle auction at the nearby Zumbrota Livestock Sales Barn, something I've done and would certainly enjoy doing again.  I don't know Bill but I'm certain that we could be friends.

There were some valiant and gracious Dreams being completed, done with the efforts, support and help from many.

A lot to be thankful for.

I stopped by Friday evening to drop some of mom's things off before Saturday's program when the many festive decorations were not yet in place.

Saturday afternoon, the program almost ready to begin....

Many of the younger residents on this side of the open stairway; those more senior were closer to the front.  I'm talking +/- a year or two from 100....that's plus 100!

When mom's turn came, Paige called us both to the front.  The 'cook' books were still in their only VERY recently received shipping box and beautifully wrapped with ribbon.  I know that mom was surprised in more than one way.  I'd given her every reason to believe that this was going to be a spiral bound, open-flat type of cookbook, filled with TBSP, Cups and "stir's..".  What was created was instead something more akin to "Mom's Story", a very quick look at mom's beginnings, a few experiences with at least a small thread connecting everything with food, meals shared and some stories that were part of it all.  Easily enough many volumes of information to fill a real book, this one just hinting at a tome, a nicely condensed overview, hopefully filled with the love and respect that was involved with its creation.  There are in fact recipes, stories about how some of them came to be and to be enjoyed, photos and family history that I hope isn't least for awhile.  Discussions and memories from myself and between mom's siblings still with us bubbled to the top over the last few weeks; that in itself was a treasure, bringing a bunch of new life into stories that had grown old.

The black was very intentional, my hope to present a scrapbook-like feel since that's where a great deal of the content came from and has been hiding for a very long time.

Dad and mom around 1985 if I had to guess....and I'm going to because that's close enough.

Many thanks to Potter Ridge, the Dream Team staff and to Ms. Mueller for her gracious contribution!

Friday, March 22, 2019

I Am Hoping 2019

There are finally some dates....and some dates in between with some High Hopes but we'll see what happens.  Since there have been quite a few questions lately, I thought it was high time that I get some of the dates on the public calendar.

Speaking of what happens, I COULD have been out yesterday afternoon, I could have been out today, 50 degrees and all but we've still got issues with egress.  The Rig and the Ariens are right in front by the big door but neither one of them, in fact no machine that we own will tolerate this faffing about.

 And early this morning.....when I walked down thinking, "just maybe...."

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours playing Water Engineer with an ice chopper I managed to break most of the icebergs away, freeing up space for the water to run rather than dam up on our driveway.  It was progress and especially fun watching that 4' x 3' x 2' tall ice berg break away.  We're still island dwellers but great leaps have been made forward.

Peg and I just walked down before it got dark.  The good news, the water is really flowing and will flow all night.  The bad news, it's still too deep to walk across but I'm thinking by morning....

The organized events....

  • May 3-4-5    Slimey Crud, van and trailer Richland Center, not sure which bike
  • May 17-18-19    GR3, a bike at Soldiers Grove, not sure which one
  • June 21-22-23   Minnesota Guzzi, Grand Marais, I'm riding the V-Star cruiser up so no dirty riding.  I might go up Thursday night, motel on the way.
  • July 12-13-14    Iowa Guzzi, Elkader.  Not sure which bike
  • July 18 - August 4   Black Hills/Northern Colorado.  Van, trailer and Himalayan. 
  • August 29 - September 2    Wildcat Rally, Westby Wisconsin.
  • October 4-5-6    Slimey Crud, Richland Center,  Van/trailer

Also, a proper scattering of overnights at the very least in between; we'll do our best.  Hope to see some of you out there or know that you're out finding your own events and destinations.

Just had to add this; I feel better every time I look at it/them.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Home At Last!!

At approximately 4:30 this afternoon, a rather joyous stroll up the driveway.

Last night just before 10pm....

This morning at 10am....

Today at 12:30.....I went for pie, I wanted pie but I was too full for pie....the fruity kind.  The one I very much enjoyed was Chicken Pot.

Today at 4:30.....locked and loaded.

The driveway was finally firm enough for the van to come down...and be able to go back up tomorrow morning.

Hazardous skating Dom.... it was way too deep for my boots.  I scurried around the snowbank on the right (downstream) side.

And some photos last evening in Red Wing as I was monitoring all things Mississippi River...

They're working 24/7 trying to get the new bridge spans across the river before the river rises enough that they won't have to lift them in place.

The overnight bag is being repacked....ample supplies for contingencies.  My Work boots and all else work-related are in the van, waiting for my hike out in the dark tomorrow morning.  It's going to be a long, warm week but with the 50's predicted by week's end, any snow left standing better be hiding. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Water We’ve Got Water

We haven’t lost power, our basement isn’t wet.  While it’s true I haven’t been home since very early Wednesday morning our weather is lovely!

Riding weather soon!!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Busy Compiling And Composing

At least when it's not snowing.....or I'm working on the driveway.  Mom's assisted living home decided to run a promotion called the Dream Project.  When she first heard it mentioned, right away her imagination carried her to places..a trip, possibly because that was something brought up when the idea was first presented, either by staff or by residents.  Mom has been a lot of places and she's proud of that; locations she went alone as a young woman, places she traveled with our family of four and then later, places far off that she and dad traveled to.  New destinations were something she'd absolutely not been "dreaming" about.

It was a dilemma, at least for a few days.  Then Peg had the great idea, "how about a family cook/memory book?  We've got oodles to fill it with, might take an entire library".

Peg was right; there is absolutely no shortage of material in these houses!  Photos, recipes, old stories, letters, other documents, diaries, etc.  Piles and piles and piles-worth.  I've been struggling to determine some sort of theme, a containment box around and it's been tough.  Now mostly gathered, I've started to compose.

Our goal, at least Peg's and mine, based on what we thought we knew about the project (it appears to be evolving....) was to have a number of books printed with recipes, stories highlighting the recipes and other documents focused on times, places and people that were there.  Intended for family, we hadn't and still have not thought about how many copies.  Hopefully there will be some funds raised in one way or another to make at least a few books possible.

Mom has been given all sorts of recipes and recipe books as you can well imagine.  A farm girl born before the depression, food, the nurturing, growing, marketing and consumption there of has been a major part of her life.  She not only cooked but waitressed in various locations around the country.  Recently she was given an incredible self published book from her granddaughter, beautiful in content, far more so than the jumble that I'm working on.  Full of lovely photography, an obvious endeavor from the heart.  Though not necessarily published for mom, it was a gift that means a lot.

This Dream Project publication, while for mom in the immediate future, is really for the rest of us going forward. There will be much content that I remember, knew of or experienced personally (some photos of little dougie) but my hope is that those people in the future that didn't directly experience any or very much of this will have something to refer back to, an easy overview into a generation or more that preceded them.

This except reprinted from our local Red Wing newspaper, mom's the one on the left......

Potter Ridge residents live their dreams


Rose Larson was in Colorado when she saw more than 100 hot air balloons in the air. Some of them landed in a field across the road from where she watched.
"I made up my mind right there that that was going to be on my bucket list," she said. "There is a place here in Minnesota where you can go and get on a balloon, so maybe it is going to happen."
Her friend, Berdella Cooper, has spent years creating and collecting recipes. She has photos of family events where those dishes were served, and she dreams of having a recipe book with family photos published.

"I thought it would be nice to have these recipes to hand down to the family, but I didn't know where to start," Cooper said. "Now, I am going to get help with this, thanks to the Dream Project."
The Dream Project is the creation of staff members at Potter Ridge Assisted Living in Red Wing. They asked residents to identify something they would like to do or something they would like to have as their dream.

Making residents' dreams come true requires both money and effort. To help with costs, the project will feature a silent auction 1- 4 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Potter Ridge. Anyone can donate items for the auction. Businesses and individuals may also donate services or provide help to make specific dreams come true.

This project should be keeping me busier than it has been but I'm working on it and mindful of the deadlines.  To stay sane (see Weather below) I've been a real purveyor of YouTube these cold winter days.  Subscribed, followed, notified, Liking....a lot has happened in my little world; it's a big place if you haven't heard.  I've learned a lot, some of it even worthwhile.  Subject matter primarily motorcycle travel but branching out from that, the things that I combine with motorcycle travel.  I'm attempting to be a better story teller and that is involving a number of prongs and for now, I'll leave it at that.   Also there's been a strong renewed interest in motorcycle camping.  I'm very pleased, considering the fact that I'm still working with the number of nights I spend each season in my tent/sleeping bag.  Lots of rallies as you well know but I classify those weekends as tent sleeping and not really camping.  This year I'm focusing on the rallies AND some camping....we'll see how that goes.

There was another batch of Elk Jerky.  Spices and flavor is better but against my better judgement, I left this batch in the dehydrator longer and that was a mistake.  The first batch was more pleasant though I think the 2nd product tastes better.


We've had a lot of melting though our daily temperatures haven't really been that warm.  The sun is getting to the point that it's accomplishing something even if the ambient doesn't want to play along.

These drifts behind the garage were half way up both windows a week ago....

Just about the worst possible had been predicted overnight and when we didn't get 10-12" of snow it was my assumption that we got off easy this time.  Much of the day yesterday afternoon we had 40 degrees so when it started snowing around 6pm, I thought that the worst had gone north for others to enjoy.  This morning early when I trudged out to the garage (Himalayn is FINALLY in the shop, warm and on the lift) I did no more than make a path between the house and garage.  A strong wind made putting off any driveway clearing easy until later in the day, hopefully with reduced winds and the drifting calmer.

Only 4" of new snow but a real kick in my pants.  Water/ice beneath, wind driven wet snow on top.  I thought (hoped??) that the snow would be too wet and heavy to do any substantial blowing.

Just shows to go ya' what I know.

Visibility at times an issue.....I hit it hard and it hit back.

The driveway, where there was snow, was miserable.  Stuck twice, very major Stuck, with the plow truck made the quick touch-up this afternoon anything but.  The way the wind is blowing, I'll likely have to go out this evening and fight again so that I can make the road tomorrow morning at 5.

Lauren is in Puerto Rico today.  It is warm and sunny there.