Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving weekend!
We certainly have much to be thankful for - our family, friends and a healthy retirement top the list, and there certainly is much, much more. We are blessed.
We've had a nice week with visitors from California and Tennessee. Last week several of Lowell's cousins came to Minnesota for the internment of their mother, Aunt Eunice. She was buried with her husband in North St. Paul. While these occasions are sad and difficult, it was good time for healing, sharing and reconnecting - and we made the most of our time together! We shared Thanksgiving dinner at Kim and Tom's house and then had a fish fry at our house on Friday night. Dawn, Alex and I participated in the shopping craziness of Black Friday at the Mall of America, and the card games were plentiful at 15th Avenue!
Today the California group heads for the west coast - it's been a very nice visit.

One week from today, we head to Cancun with Rick and Diane. Wow, gotta start planning for that! and then when we get home there's less than 2 weeks until Christmas... whew, this retired road is a busy one!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

First Snow

Saturday, November 8th, the MN deer opener, marked the first snow in Hackensack for the 2008 season. The last snow here was on May 10th - the fishing opener and the day we put the dock in!
We arrived on Wednesday, the 6th, to prepare for the deer hunting season and get the cabin cozied up for winter. It’s very quiet here in lake country at this time of the year.
We’ve had a trail camera out behind the cabin along with salt and mineral blocks and some corn. There is a doe and her two young ones who have been visiting us periodically all summer. They have been here several times a day in the Fall, but when the snow and colder weather arrived they are not as frequent. We also have plenty of birds around – the big ol’ “pillyheaded woodpeckers” in addition to red-bellied, hairy and downy woodpeckers, goldfinches, “nutch-hats”, blue jays, purple finches and pine siskins to name a few. The squirrels are still busy too. I decided I’ve gone over the edge – when we arrived Lowell got busy turning the water on and I filled all the bird feeders…before I even started to unload the car!!! Geez---
Lowell, Joel and Al went hunting on Saturday and Sunday – in the cold and wind and snow! They saw deer, but didn’t shoot anything. Al stayed until Tuesday, so he and Lowell went out again on Monday and Tuesday – the weather was much nicer, but the results were the same. Lowell worked on getting the rest of the loft sheetrocked - it looks so much better. We also did some driving on the Woodtick Trail in the Chippewa National Forest - Lowell is exploring other hunting areas for next year. I'd love to do some hiking there in the spring.
So, what do I do all day? Well, I’ve read 5 books, taken walks with my camera, done some clean up on the laptop (I have lots of digital pictures that need sorting and labeling), some Christmas craft projects and a little local shopping.
Now we're home for a few weeks. We'll celebrate Thanksgiving with the Schumacher cousins and then on December 6th we leave for a week in Cancun with the Theissens - Retirement is beginning to feel real –