Wednesday, August 3, 2022


This morning, Tuesday, August 2nd, we were near Waterloo Ontario.
In the evening we drove through Waterloo Iowa on our way home. We decided to skip as much of Chicago as possible and drove west into Iowa and then north to our place. 

It's always amazing to me how far a car can go in a days time if you keep on moving. We stopped at Cracker Barrel for our supper. 
No, this isn't Cracker Barrel. This is a wedding venue in Brussels Ontario where our nephew had his wedding.  
           Congratulations Nico and Rianna!
                             July 30, 2022
     A good occasion to get a family picture 
  Photo credits go to many family members.             who took pictures and shared them.
                              Thank you!   
         John and Ladina, Jerry and Trenda 
      Ellis and Dawn, Mom, Doug and Maria 
                        JoAnna and Hans

                          August 1, 2022
         A late birthday celebration for me. 
       Here is a bit of the background story. 
In February 2001 my sisters came to MN to.              surprise me for my 40th birthday. 
                          I was surprised! 
In 2002 it was Ladina's turn. We managed to shock Ladina with the help of John and their daughter, Janine. (Even though she knew we would arrive sometime that spring.) Dad and Mom and all of us girls with our daughters drove to Dryden Ontario.

In 2004 we repeated this scenario for Trenda. Jerry had arranged for an Airbnb for us to stay in. (Before that was even a thing!) 

Then in 2006 Ladina, Trenda and I flew to Toronto Ontario to surprise Maria. Mom and Dad were visiting at their home near Stratford. Dad was helping Doug on some part of their renovation project. Through some careful planning and strategic timing Dad and Doug picked us up at the airport. (All without lying to Maria as to their whereabouts for the past 2 - 3 hours =) Dad and Doug went in the back door while we waited for a short time then knocked on the front door. A🚪 they didn't use very often. It was sweet to pull off all of these events... 

In 2007 there was a family reunion at Doug and Maria's place and we had a birthday party to celebrate Hans and his 30th birthday. 

          Photo credits to JoAnna Skrivseth 

When Trenda asked what we were doing for my 50th birthday I was ready to say, "It's been fantastic! But how about not going to a lot of drama for this decade?!"

I was out voted. So we celebrated again in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017
There was an extended family reunion in 2019 celebrating Mom's 80th birthday 

I don't want to mention what happened in 2020 since we are all sick and tired of         #@&/%

It put a wrench in any plans for family reunions. So my 60th birthday went by quietly. Here I  should give you a link where you could go back to February 9, 2021 in this blog and see what happened. My family gave me 60 gifts so it wasn't very quiet - now that I think if it. (And I am not up to date with putting in links and all of that stuff.)

Ladina celebrated her 60th birthday in April of this year recovering from major heart surgery in Baltimore, Maryland. Janine put together a card shower for Ladina.

Next spring Ladina has plans for a belated party on the North Shore. Which was all very long winded to bring you up to date for my belated birthday party at a lovely park in Stratford Ontario. 
                A novel way to find dinner
             Doug grilled sausages/braats.
There was a gigantic salad with everything in it except onions and celery. Chips and hummus dip, buns and ketchup and mustard to go with the sausages and sauerkraut, too.

After delightful strolls through the gardens and more family picture we went back to Doug and Maria's place for ice cream cake and coffee.  A wonderful day! My main idea for this celebration was that we could all be together and the whole weekend was one long family reunion.

    Ice cream treats in Shakespeare Ontario 

Sunday, April 24, 2022


"Do you have Grandpa's book?" I asked my children on our family chat. I found some extra ones in my book shelf that need to find homes in some other book shelves. A small start to begin emptying our house. 

🌺  Cheers!!  💕 

We went to Nevada over Easter vacation. 
    Blue sky between rain and snow showers. 
          I'm not very good at taking selfies.
     Here we are with our beautiful rental car.

We came to southern Idaho to visit Deanne and took a road trip to Nevada.

                 The scenery was amazing!

                          Shoshone Falls

We heard about record breaking snow fall in other parts of the states. Fortunately - for us - north of where we were. 

    Of course we missed Jasper immensely!
         He is learning to sit up by himself!

                        What big eyes!

The pictures are backwards in time. Here we are on March 30th having coffee cake and tea for Krysta's birthday. 
(Photo credits of Jasper go to Krysta)
Last, but not least, my beautiful sister, Ladina. She is back home in MN after heart surgery. We are all so grateful for healing and thankful she is on the road to recovery. (Photo credits go to my niece, Janine.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

winter wonderland

"What's the first thing you think of when you go through a tunnel?"

My sister, Trenda, asked me this as we traveled on the PA turnpike that last week of December. 

I thought for a little bit and then said, "Princess Diana."  (The bigger answer is her accident and death)

Trenda said, "Only a sister would get that answer right."

I tried the same question on Ellis as we traveled north on Hwy 61 with Lake Superior visible out the passenger side window. We went through several short tunnels. He was stumped and couldn't think of the right answer. When I told him - Princess Diana - he asked, "Was that accident in a tunnel? I didn't remember that."

Why would we travel to the north shore in March where the temperature next morning was -5?

Naniboujou Lodge near Grand Marais MN
My sister, Ladina, discovered this lovely place a few years ago when she and John were on a ride on Hwy 61. She happened to glance back and saw a large building through the trees. They turned around and went back and had a meal there. 

They have weekends open in the winter (February and part of March)  then open again in the summer. 

John and Ladina and Ellis and I braved the cold and snow and went North for a get-a-away in March.

photo credits of the lake: Ladina Martin
view from our room
We explored the town of Grand Marais and also took a site seeing drive on the Gunflint trail looking for moose. These cute moose painted on a tray were the only moose we saw.

We were on a search for books and baskets. 
In the room next to the grand dining room there were tables and couches and conversation nooks where we played games, read books and caught up on life.

One of the other guests asked Ladina and me if we are twins. We are 14 months apart in age. Mom has been known to say she felt like she was raising twins when we were little.

If you want to go north in the winter this is a great place to go. Now, of course, we want to go to the north shore in the summer and find some Lake Superior agates and wade in the water.

Saturday, February 26, 2022


Jumping into the middle of a scene in Corrie ten Boom's childhood... 

Betsie was helping Nollie and Corrie get ready for school. They arrived at the breakfast table - late. 

Betsie pointed to the Frisian clock on the stairwall, and with a finger on her lips silently opened the dining room door. It was 8:12: breakfast had already begun. 

"Two minutes late!" cried Willem triumphantly. 

 "The Waller children were never late," said Tante Bep. 
"But they're here! said Father. "And the room is brighter!" 
- end of quote from The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom with John and Elizabeth Sherrill 

When someone is late for church or some other event this is what I imagine God, our Heavenly Father, says. 

"They're here! And the room is brighter!" 

This is what I say, quietly to myself, when someone is late. 

I am grateful for grace and mercy extended to me when I am late. 

I may never know what complications came up that cause a late arrival. 

Is it any of my business? Probably not. 

Best wishes for a peaceful Sunday morning getting ready for praise and worship to the King of Kings!

Sunday, January 30, 2022


 Crossing the Ohio River on a ferry    
   between Kentucky and Illinois 
                January 22, 2022

Crossing from Galveston Texas to the main land on a ferry.   March 2021

It's gotten to be a tradition - ride on a ferry every winter. 

            And more pictures of Jasper!