Thursday, August 16, 2012

Yes, the wedding happened

I skipped over the wedding to talk about the first day of school, but the wedding did happen, and it was lovely. I will tell more details later, and post pictures.

Added: Link to photo album. It's hosted on Barry's photography website but the actual photography was done by our friend Mike Lieurance.

Wedding photo gallery

First Day of School 2012-2013

She especially hopes you will notice the new high tops and backpack.

By the way, if you are looking for a really good school backpack, check the Pottery Barn Teen catalogs or website. I used to buy the kids each a cheapo backpack that would last a year if we were lucky, but then we bought Miss A a PBTeen backpack for the start of 4th grade and that thing lasted for 3 school years! Except for being tired-looking, it would still work for another year, probably, but she wanted something more girly (the old one was camo print). We just got this one, which should take her through 9th grade.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Crystal candle holders from two different garage sales

I picked up these crystal candle holders at a garage sale and a church rummage sale in La Crescent last Friday. Very heavy.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Dehydrated foods vendor Mother Earth Products recommendation

How could I not love them, they're from Iowa! Nevada, Iowa, to be exact. Quick service, good prices and a good selection of dried foods including veggies (both dehydrated and freeze dried),  fruits, and TVP pseudo-meat, and also a few select long term storage supply items. Take them up on their free sample offer. I bravely tried the TVP "chicken" and "beef" chunks, and they were really not bad. Mother Earth included an extra sample of the taco mix and it's spicy and hefty. I'll be ordering soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

That oil lamp again

It took a couple of tries (miscommunication on my end) but I got the chimney and the collar for that old oil lamp. NOW I find that the collar does not fit the burner that goes with the lamp. I jammed the burner on there temporarily so the lamp can be used while I figure out what I want to do about it. I do love this lamp.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A visit with my sister and nephew

I got to take a couple of days off this week, dropped Kieffer at college orientation at UNI and then drove north to Roseville where my sister Laura and her son Nathan are visiting our parents. It has been 2-1/2 years since we saw one another. It was a short but precious visit.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Miss A's new dress

We were testing the pattern for her bridesmaid dress to wear in her sister's wedding.

Update on that oil lamp - good news!

I just received this email from Dan Stout of Accrete Hardware:

Thanks for writing.  I will ship the order to the new address tomorrow.
I will include with the order, the collar and the collar putty you will need...
You have a beautiful lamp. It was made about 1880. The jagged edge on the neck of your lamp is original. 
It is never a good idea to use epoxy. If the collar ever needed to be replaced in the future, trying to remove the epoxy would destroy the neck of the lamp.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Garage sale score: Tall glass parlor lamp

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Tall glass parlor lamp, a set on Flickr.
Yesterday after work Miss A and I hit a few garage sales in La Crescent on our way home. She got a shoebox full of LEGO, which made her very happy. I found 6 stems of my crystal pattern, which used to be el cheapo stuff at Target but is now hard to find (Cristal d'Arques Longchamps), and some bed linens. I also bought this lovely old antique parlor lamp from my friend Karen's sale. It belonged to her great uncle. (Karen, did I get that right? Great uncle?) She no longer uses it and wanted to pass it on. I made sure she was certain about this before snatching it off the table.

It's damaged at the top of the font, where the collar should be. Looks like the collar broke off and took some glass with it. I have a email in to a lamp restoration expert on whether I can just epoxy a new collar onto what remains of the glass so that the burner will stay in place. It's a nonthreaded Queen Anne burner, a #2 I think. I am ordering a very tall chimney for it too.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PBS Frontline - Sick Around the World

In my evening class we have been studying who pays what for health care around the world, hoping to come up with the perfect solution to the health care crisis before the end of June. (Still working on it.) One of my assignments is to watch a PBS Frontline special that I'd like to share with you if you have not already seen it: Sick Around the World. It looks at health care systems in five capitalist democracies (so we're comparing apples to apples), seeing what is working and what isn't. Interesting stuff, believe it or not. And my final paper was about the effects of international adoption on family health care.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Keeshond therapy dog

Here's a story about a rescued Keeshond who is now a therapy dog.

We keep thinking Bosley would make a great therapy dog if we ever took the time to send him through the training. He's a natural. You should see him at Village Creek Bible Camp. He wants to visit with each and every child there.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Penguin caterpillars

These were the guys that were all over our campsite last weekend. (Not my photo, mine were all blurry.) See what's on their backs? - Teeny tiny penguins! I was amazed. Every one of those bazillion tent caterpillars at our campsite had a row of teeny-tiny penguins marching down its back.

Sewing a Ribbon Hem

I have a skirt that I bought ready-made that has an interesting hem treatment using a ribbon. I tried doing the same thing with a heavy cotton skirt I was making. Here's how it works

1. Mark your hem. On the wrong side/inside of the skirt, pin the ribbon along the marked hemline, wrong sides together. Edge stitch the ribbon to the skirt at the hemline, stitching the edge closest to the top of the skirt.
2. Trim the excess off the bottom of the skirt, close to the stitching, taking care not to cut the ribbon.

3. Turn the skirt right side out. Turn the ribbon up to the right side, making the fold line right at the edge of the ribbon. Press. (I actually had to do this from the inside, because my ribbon was a synthetic and wanted to melt at a temperature that was good for pressing my cotton skirt fabric.)

4. Edge stitch the unstitched edge of the ribbon all the way around. 

Here is the finished hem. If your fabric and ribbon have pretty much the same amount of body this should still hang okay for a casual skirt. And it's easy.

Dresden Plate quilt

This little sweetie came from a garage sale near my office in La Crosse on Friday. The seller said it was made by her great great aunt and given to her by her great aunt (daughter of the maker), her Great Auntie Marlys or maybe Marlis (I did not get the spelling) of Hillsboro, Wisconsin, and that the family name Markee is involved somewhere, possibly the last name of the maker. She has my phone number to call me if anyone in the family remembers more.
It's a cute little Dresden Plate, machine pieced/appliqueed in individual squares which were then machine sewn together and then hand quilted. It was self bound and the binding is worn. The backing is a printed cotton. It was dirty when I bought it, and I thought it started as white and had darkened with age and use; however, when I removed the whisker guard, I found that it had originally been a nice yellow and had faded. The top of the quilt where the whisker guard was is at the bottom of my photo. See the difference?

I soaked it gently, rinsed it carefully and dried it on the freshly mown lawn (backing side up, I only flipped it to get this photo). The 1930s prints are still vibrant. Only one fabric deteriorated. I'm thinking of using the fabric from the whisker guard to rebind the quilt. Not certain about that.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chasing Zero

Last night in my Health Care Systems class we watched part of a nearly-hour-long video that I’d like to share with you. I watched most of the rest of it when I got home last night; got sleepy with about 10 minutes to go so haven’t seen the very end yet. But it fits beautifully with Mayo's whole Culture of Safety initiative and puts human faces on the critical nature of the culture of safety. It’s called Chasing Zero. It’s really worth your while.


I won the KDEC trivia contest this morning again on the way to work. The question was, “Rocker Lou Reed has joined Neil Young and the late Frank Zappa in having a _________ named after him.” I called in and guessed a high school, because I know there’s a Frank Zappa High School somewhere. Nope. So I hung up. The morning DJs weren’t getting any more calls so they threw out a hint: David Bowie has never had one of these, even though he’d be a natural for it. I thought, Ziggy Stardust – maybe it’s a star. So I called back. Nope. Not a star. I could tell they were getting tired of the game because they gave me a REALLY BIG HINT while I was on the phone – they said to think about Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars for a minute. I guessed “Spider?” Bingbingbingbing, that was the answer. Lou Reed has one now named after him, a velvet trapdoor spider (that lives under ground). Get it? The Velvet Underground? Yeah, I thought it was kind of a stretch. FYI, Zappa has one named after him because if you care to get close enough to look at its face, it has sort of a Zappa-esque moustache. (I’ll take their word for it.) And Neil Young’s spider just got his name because the scientist who named him is a Neil Young fan. Whatever. I think maybe there are just too many spiders in the world and they are running out of things to call them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Camping, and diagnosis momentum

I hope you had a lovely weekend.

We camped with our daughters in the Yellow River State Forest to our south. We hit the Harper’s Ferry Volunteer Fire Department’s pancake breakfast on Sunday. The campground was overrun with hungry tent caterpillars. My girls invented a new game called Hunger Games for Tent Caterpillars, which involved tossing the “tributes” into the campfire. The survival rate was nil.

Here’s an article that talks about how errors in one part of the medical record can be copied and passed on if they are not verified, until they are all over the patient’s chart and then nobody believes it’s a mistake. The article calls this “diagnosis momentum, a phenomenon whereby ‘once diagnostic labels are attached to patients they tend to become stickier and stickier.’” This was not a transcriptionist’s mistake in this case, but I have seen it happen that way too: The first error is a transcription error, the dictator signs off on it without noticing the error, and it runs from there, gaining momentum with each new provider who reads it and then dictates into the record once more. (I think you will probably have to register for the site to read the article but it's free, and they have great stuff.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grad school update

I have one semester of an expected total of six complete, seven credits so far, and so far have a 4.0 grade point average. Honestly in many ways it's easier than my undergrad work. The work itself is much more challenging, but I get to take just one course at a time and give it my undivided attention (undivided, that is, other than for work, commuting, the family, the house, the wedding, Barry getting ready to leave for a summer internship at Mayo, and getting Kieffer squared away for college in the fall).

My first course was called Authentic Leadership, in which we explored leadership theory and worked at formulating our own individual leadership philosophies. It was a great way to start things off and get to know the members of my cohort (and they are wonderful people!). Next was Legal and Ethical Decision Making, in which we talked about business law and how ethics fits in (or at least how it should). I just started my third course, Health Care Systems, which is required for health care emphasis students in the MBA program. Seven weeks. Eight papers of varying lengths. I wrote two of them this past weekend. Lots of reading, lots of writing, and the writing is all in APA style, which I loathed at first but which has grown on me (obviously a sign that I am losing it).

Since my undergrad degree has nothing to do with business, I have to show competencies in five areas including business law, finance, economics, and two more I can't remember at the moment, so I am taking a couple of pass/fail "boot camp" courses to cover these. Still about $500 a credit and don't count toward my MBA credit total so I am anxious not to have to take all of them. I can submit portfolios of work experience for consideration in lieu of the courses and am planning on doing that for three of the five.

I do love being back in school. It's just a demanding schedule all around.

P.S. I just learned something new: When you try to write a Blogger post on an iPad, it ignores your paragraph breaks.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I am so far behind on sharing things with you that I don't even know where to start.

So I'll start with this:

My firstborn, Britta, is engaged to be married to Amadeus Gandy, a young man she met in college. They plan to marry on August 11th here in our back yard, a small family wedding. Amadeus' career plans are to be a chaplain in the US Army, so after they both finish their bachelor's degrees at Viterbo, they will be heading out to Fort Wayne, Indiana, so he can go to Concordia Theological Seminary to study for his MDiv. Britta will have student teaching to do, which she hopes to do in Fort Wayne, and then she plans on continuing school while teaching, studying American Sign Language. They are energetic people and I am confident they will accomplish all this.

We are very happy with them and their love for one another and pray for many decades of fruitful married life for them.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


This morning while driving to work, I correctly answered a trivia question on KDEC Radio out of Decorah: "In 1987, a Texas man was fined $10,000 and sentenced to 10 years of probation for stealing 79,680 somethings from a hospital. What did he steal?" It's toilet paper. I'll admit, I totally guessed. I just wondered what someone might steal from a hospital and thought that would be available. Not exactly easy to steal, though: What did he do, hide it under his coat? and 79,680 rolls? Really? Anyway, my prize is a gift certificate to a new homebrewing supply shop that opened recently in Decorah called From Grain to Glass. That will make my husband happy, he's a homebrewer.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Kohls Cares for Kids score

Welcome back to the most neglected spot in the Blogosphere. I end up posting most of my news in infobytes on Facebook because my attention span is so short these days, getting pulled in dozens of directions at once. Anyway I thought of something cool to share:

I have this daughter who is growing like the prettiest weed you ever did see. That kid has shot up nearly 2 inches in height in 6 months. She is outgrowing clothes so fast... So I had to do a midyear clothes shopping trip to get her through the rest of the school year.

We went to Kohls. Here's what we did: We hit the clearance and sales racks hard. By the time we went through the checkout lane the total in the cart was about $437. (Eek!) I got 15% off because we used our Kohls charge, bringing it down to about $380. We also got $70 in Kohls Cash (a promotion they run pretty frequently where you get $10 in Kohls Cash for every $50 you spend).

The next week Barry took the Kohls Cash in and bought himself some things he needed for school, two pair of jeans and two shirts. He came out almost exactly even on the $70.

Now the Kohls bill has arrived, and I am going to buy Kohls Cares for Kids gift certificates from Blessed Sacrament Parish in La Crosse to pay off the bill. One of my staff has a daughter at the private school run by Blessed Sacrament and my purchases count against her tuition. So I buy $380 in Kohls scrip, and Kohls pays 4% of that in benefits. So that's $19 that goes to Blessed Sacrament.

So even though it was a whopping huge amount to shell out at once, thanks to the great sales at Kohls and the generous giving programs of that company, it went a long way.

Pretty cool. :)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2011 Safecastle Freedom Awards: 2nd Place Winner

My essay Preparedness for Young People took 2nd place in the essay category of the 2011 Safecastle Freedom Awards. I'm very happy about this! I'm still shocked that I made it to the finals, so winning is just another shock... and I was more excited about the 2nd prize (the Excalibur dehydrator) than the 1st prize (the Katadyn water filter) anyway.

A gorgeous 1930s Detroit Vapor stove on eBay - Omaha, NE

My stove's very close relative is for sale on eBay, located in Omaha. Look at this beauty!

The enamel's in wonderful shape, and what's really remarkable, all the front knobs are still there! I don't see the oven temperature control dial on the right side. Maybe that's one of the things sitting inside the oven. That might be an interesting repair to have to make. Other than that, though, this is a wonderful stove. I wrote to the seller to correct the date; it's 1933-1934, not 1920s.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Safecastle Freedom Award New Media Contest: I'm a finalist!

Safecastle ran a "new media" contest over most of 2011, seeking short written articles and short video pieces on some aspect of preparedness. Fifteen blogs hosted the contest entries, each of them choosing one essay and one video to submit as a finalist to Safecastle. I submitted mine through Rural Revolution. And I'm their finalist pick!

Here's a link to all the finalists so you can read them. Mine is titled Preparedness for Young People.

I'm really happy about this. Being a finalist is pretty cool, but maybe even more cool is that Don and Patrice of Rural Revolution have a small family business of making wooden drinking tankards by hand. They're amazing pieces of art AND they are functional. Take reasonable care of these tankards and they will last for decades. And I get one just for being one of their site's entries!

Monday, January 02, 2012

City of New Albin installs new officers

New Albin City Clerk Bobbie Goetzinger reads the oath of office to Mayor Elect Barry Stahl. Police Chief Conrad Rosendahl looks on.

Mayor Stahl's first act as mayor was to swear in returning council members Joey Sires, center, and Kathy Goetzinger, right...

and new council member Joel Monroe, below. Seated at far left is council member Lori Darling. In back by the flag is Police Chief Conrad Rosendahl.

Returning as Fire Chief is Mike Reburn.