Monday, February 24, 2014

Grand Opening Day~Spring Celebration in the Old Farmhouse

The artists of the Old Farmhouse Gathering team 
are celebrating the coming of spring.

And soon... it will be here again!
There's not much better than coming home from school 
and soaking in the warm sun out on the patio.

That photo was taken in May of 2013 when Nellie was living with us.
And for dinner that evening?
Danish Meatloaf.
To view the recipe, click here.

And, to view all the Farmhouse spring creations.

Have a marvelous Monday,
Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Aberdeen Jazz...a "groupie's" view of the band

The Aberdeen Jazz...
(best jazz in the upper midwest)
is playing this evening at the Red Rooster.
7 - 10 p.m.

If you are a local friend, 
you won't want to miss this.

Take care,
~Natalie

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Visiting Boston...a City rich in History

Our holiday trip to Boston was packed full of activities.
Emily had planned the perfect itinerary, which included visiting significant landmarks in the Boston area.


First stop...Prospect Hill.
The site where "the first American Flag ever flew".

And then on to the Bunker Hill Monument.
We, four, climbed to the top...
nearly 300 steps.

There were several look-outs 
along the way.

After we caught our breath...
(well, I had to catch my breath...)

We spent some time looking around.
The view from the top was amazing.

Going down the steps was a lot easier.

It was a drizzly day, 
but we enjoyed touring the historic sites of Boston.
Take care,
~Natalie

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day Recap...


Fridays at school are always a high energy day...
but add to that, Valentine's Day.
Students exchange flowers, stuffed animals, balloons, candy and cards.

However, we started our day on a more serious note.
I invited my friend and colleague into my Independent Living class 
for a guest presentation on STDs.
Appropriate, right?!

My Foods class had made sugar cookie dough on Thursday,
and it was chilling overnight in the refrigerator.

So, yesterday, we rolled, cut, and baked Heart Cookies.
And making the frosting was an important task.
Students were quite focused, don't you think?!

And their final product?

I'm not sure we are pinterest ready,
but our cookies were delicious!

After work, hubby and I tossed around the idea of 
cooking dinner together at home, or going out for a bite.

We did not need to discuss this for long.
By Friday, we are usually worn out from the work week.
We ended up at our long-time favorite restaurant,

And this was the Valentine Special.
It was perfect!
In fact, it was perfect for hubby and me to share!!
He enjoyed the steak and potato... 
I enjoyed the steamed broccoli and grilled shrimp.

There was a crab cake for each of us...
(Sorry, I took a bite before I remembered to take a photo.)

And, for the sweet tooth...
a heart shaped brownie,
strawberry ice cream,
chocolate and strawberry syrup,
with a shaved chocolate garnish.

While Mavericks is our long-time favorite,
we have a new restaurant in our neighborhood, Flatlanders...
and is easily our new favorite.

We stopped on our way home for an after dinner beverage and were treated to these complementary strawberries.  
They were fabulous!

It was a wonderful evening.

Take care,
~Natalie

p.s. today is the one-year anniversary of mom's funeral.
She had been adamant the people should not spend money for flowers for her funeral.
However, that request was accidentaly omitted from her obituary...

Of course, we ordered the casket spray when planning her funeral,
but I was afraid there might be other bouquets, against her wishes.

But the good Lord, again, took care of every detail.
Because this was the day after Valentine's Day,
even though her loving nieces and nephews tried,
there were no other flowers.

I also want to thank everyone who left such kind and loving comments here on my blog and on my facebook page.
I appreciate your friendship.

~Natalie

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thank You for your Kind Words of Love and Support

As many of you know, this is the one-year anniversary 
of Mom's passing and funeral.
She died on February 7, 2013, and her funeral was on the 15th.
(I did not blog at that time...
I could not find the words to express what I was thinking and feeling)

And the reason for the time-span between her death and funeral?
A good old fashioned blizzard in the Dakotas.
We needed to move mom's belongings from her home at the assisted living facility in Devils Lake to our storage space in South Dakota. Plus, we knew we would be less stressed if we went home...regrouped...and then came back to celebrate mom's life and to be able to visit with family and friends.

Of course, her funeral was here in the chapel of the Heartland Care Center,
with the stained glass windows and alter furniture of Zion Lutheran Church, our home church.

So, it was natural for me to ask her about where she would like us to have her funeral.
After the closing worship services at Zion, she said,
"Well, there won't be very many people there, 
so the chapel at the funeral home will be just fine."

This chapel was perfect,
the service was lovely.

She wanted her nephews to be the pallbearers,
and my hubby, Scott, to sing her favorite hymns.

Many of my mom's friends were there.
Several of my high school classmates were there.
And, some of our cousins were there.

We had ordered a catered lunch from one of the local cafes.
And, one of my good friends offered to bake the sweets.

It was a good day.
My mom had lived a good life.
She was ready.
It was time for her to go.
It was time for us to say good-bye.

Take care,
~Natalie

Sunday, February 9, 2014

When our Good Lord Sends a Sign, He doesn't Mess Around...

Mom had expressed many times that she wanted to move to Aberdeen to be closer to her family.
And, I had promised her that when she needed to move from 'assisted living care' to 'nursing home care', she would move to Aberdeen. However, it wasn't looking good here.  Mom's name was on a waiting list at all four facilities in town, but she wasn't at the top.  Plus, one of the facilities would not even consider taking her, because there was a mention of MRSA in her file.

An alternative was to move her back to Devils Lake...
to the Heartland Care Center.
She had live there for three months in 2010 
as a rehab patient after a surgery.
And over the years, she had spent countless hours there volunteering 
and visiting the elderly.

Consider, the ride in the ambulence would be only 90 minutes, instead of the six hours to move here.
And, we had to think about that mom had made financial arrangements with a funeral home in Devils Lake.
So, despite my promise to mom, we decided she would move to 

I made the four hour trip to meet her there.  One of the caring nurses had called to let me know that her breathing had slowed and the end was near. When I arrived, I went straight to her room and sat by her side. When the nurses came in to tend to her personal needs, I took a little break. The receptionist asked if I would like to see their new chapel.

When I stepped into the room,
I stopped in my tracks...my heart skipped a beat...

It looked like our home church...
the windows...
the alter furniture was.. from.. our.. home.. church!

Many of you know that our home community has been wiped out because of the rising flood waters of Devils Lake. Emily, Mom and I attended the closing worship services of Zion Lutheran Church in 2011.

When our church building was moved, I wondered what had happened to the stained glass windows.
After all, they were the original windows from our first church, and then incorporated into the design of our new building.

And our beautiful alter furniture was here, too.


Clearly, I had made the right decision.
This was no better place for my mom to 
spend her last days here on earth.

Take care,
~Natalie

Schools Out for Summer ~Special Memories

This photo popped up in my Memories this week. It was taken on my last day of school…ever. I taught school for 38 years, and saw over a hund...