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Four Things

July 11, 2011


Look how pretty!   Flowers from our garden that I cut last night.  Love!


I just got back from my “run.”  I am sweating all over the key board and my legs feel like taffy.  I don’t know how much I have updated about this but I have been pretty good about getting up to walk/run, I have been at it for about five weeks.  But yesterday, SUNDAY, it was raining at 5:00 AM which is when I usually get up.  I used this as a free pass, as I am wont to do.  Never mind that when I woke up at 7:00, I had NOTHING STOPPING ME from going then.  So, today is the day I add a minute of running and decrease a minute of walking.  Today was run 6 minutes/walk 4 minutes (x4).

Oh, my god.  You know, or maybe you don’t, that the first half of my run is down hill.  Which logic would tell you that the second half of my run, when I am running home, is up hill.  I knew it was going to be tough today when running down hill was hard.  How is that hard?  Gravity is doing the work…I just have to lift up my feet.  I have been priding myself that I was over the pathetic ugly run look.  You know, the kind when people see you run by and think, “Oh, that poor thing.  She looks like she is going to collapse any second.”  They wouldn’t be surprised if suddenly instead of “running” I would be crawling down the street.  So.  The hills coming home?  Yeah.  They kicked my ass.  And I smell.  Eww.  Thank goodness there are few people up at that ungodly hour, I am sure I would have had comments.  “You okay out there?  You look like you might need an ambulance…”  Honestly, I don’t know if I would have had the breath to answer, and if I had opened my mouth the sweat that was pouring down my face would have gotten in there.  I hate sweating.

The good thing?  It is over.  Until tomorrow.  Which will be better, I can’t fathom why, but it will be.  IT WILL BE.


I finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.  Holy hot potato, you ALL need to read this book.  It is so interesting and appalling, and well written.  It is about racism, science, ethics…and at the heart of it:  the author and Henrietta’s family.  So good.  It is non-fiction, which is something I rarely read, but it reads like a novel.  There are technical parts, but they are relevant.  I can’t remember one time when I thought, “blah-dee-blah-blah” as I sometimes do when the information seems to be too much.  I had NO IDEA what has been (and still is) going on within the topic of research in medicine.  I don’t know if it will change how I do things, but I will be reading consent forms MUCH more carefully from now on.


This weekend we went here:

Anyone who has read the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder recognizes this town’s name.  Walnut Grove.  I LOVE that name for a town.  (I also love Sleepy Eye…which is out that way as well.)  Jeff decided to surprise our kids, but mostly Sarah, who is INTO Laura and has been since last summer.  Every July Walnut Grove (don’t you love it too?) has a pageant that they put on which is basically a play about the life of Laura while she lived in Walnut Grove.  It is about a two and a half hour drive from here.  My grandma lives about 8 miles from Walnut Grove, so we went to see her, briefly, and then went to the Walnut Grove community center for dinner.  It was a good church lady dinner with hot turkey sandwiches, chips, coleslaw and pie.  (The kids all had hot dogs, and they totally missed out!)

We had about an hour to kill before the pageant, so we drove to the museum.  We spent some time in the gift shop and bought some stuff for each kid, but the museum was closing in five minutes, so we put that on our list of “to do” next time when we are there.  The best part?  The covered wagon:

Yes, of course my girls dressed up.  The sad part is that the dress that Sarah found on Ebay (for $10!!) is now too small for her.  And Katie’s dress that she had was too small for her.  I didn’t know this, of course, until the DAY we were leaving.  So, we had to improvise.  Katie got Sarah’s dress, Sarah took Katie’s apron and bonnet, and we went to Walmart when we got to town. (We stayed in Redwood Falls…I also love that name!)  So, Sarah is sporting a retro circa 1972 spaghetti strapped number with her apron and bonnet.  It was the best we could do.  She didn’t seem to care, the bonnet and the apron were what she was concerned about.

When they were done in the covered wagon, heading west, we got back in the car to head on over to the sight of the dugout.

You know what else I love?  I love the name “Plum Creek” which is where the Dug Out was located, on the banks of Plum Creek.  Why don’t we have more names like this in the city?

You can see the sign in the back there at the top of the hill.  There is a path that goes down on the left of the site of the Dug Out which is where  all the lush green leaves are on the ground.  I thought the Dug Out was still intact, and I think Sarah did too, so it was a little disappointing not to be able to go inside.

After the Dug Out, we went to the pageant!  Oh!  It was good.

Here come the Ingalls, all the way from Illinois:

The play was fabulous.  I loved the set and the props.  Here is the house.  It is just like a real life-sized doll house:

The play started at 9:00 PM and got over at 11:00.  Then, of course, we had to get autographs from all of the cast members.  Even Nellie Olson.  We got back to the hotel and tried to calm down our three crazy, over-tired children who all had to share a double bed.  I think I turned the light out at 1:00 AM.

The next morning we went to breakfast, and then spent the remaining time in the pool.  Such a fun get away.

When I was little, I used to hate driving in the country.  My other grandma lived in Ortonville which is on the very eastern border of Minnesota.  You know where there is a little notch?  Right there.  We drove for almost four hours to get to her house.  That is a lot of corn and cows to see.  Now?  I love it.  It is so beautiful, with the gentle rolling hills, the green, green fields, and the cows are one of my favorite parts!  But my very favorite part?  The barns.  Oh, I love the barns.  I want one.  The old weathered wood.  The big doors.  They are just majestic.  Jeff shared his favorite barn with me on this trip.  He had never shared it before, which is weird because his family comes from Tracy which is maybe another 10 miles from Walnut Grove.  He even pulled over so I could take a picture:

Isn’t it beautiful?  Yes, the roof is caving in…but it is such a non traditional barn.  And I love the sheep too.

How was your weekend?

  1. July 15, 2011 9:25 am

    That barn in AMAZING. I think it’s so interesting how different barns are across the country. I think it all depends on what kind of livestock you have. The barn on our family farm is still a magical place to me.

    Can I be your kid? I am so jealous of the Laura Ingalls Wilder experience! I re-read the series this year and was just blown away at the hard work it took to survive. On the Banks of Plum Creek is one of my favorites of them all – I just loved that little dug-out house! It’s not surprising it caved in, but how fun it would be to look inside.

  2. July 15, 2011 3:00 pm

    I AM SO ENVIOUS! And I am amazed that no one has recreated that dugout. What a moneymaker someone is missing out on!

  3. August 2, 2011 8:40 am

    That is so cool getting to see the ACTUAL dugout… even if it’s more of a cave-in now. The girls and I just moved on to reading By the Shores of Silver Lake, but I’m still reeling from the Plum Creek saga. I just can’t imagine living their lives. Thanks for sharing the pics!

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