Great Aunt Cecilia’s 100th Birthday Party

Today was Great Aunt Cecilia’s 100th Birthday party – she was born on August 4, 1918! The party was held at the local VFW in Crystal, Minnesota. Actually it was just south of the Crystal Airport and you could see the hangers from the VFW parking lot. I have flown into the Crystal Airport a few times and they have a nice Tower, but I recall that they have confusing taxiways and runways.

I only knew a small fraction of the relatives that were there and so I needed to introduce myself as “Kay’s granddaughter – yes, the older twin” or “Carole’s daughter, yes the older twin.” Cecilia’s husband Frank was my Grandfather Steve’s brother. I don’t remember Frank, but Cecilia has always been very nice to me and the twin and its always wonderful to see her at the 4th of July parties. There were around 100 people at the birthday party. While talking to people at the party, a few people mentioned my Grandmother Kay and how kind she was to them, so that was really nice to hear.

I asked Cecilia what was her secret to living to 100 and she said: hard work, then something to do with God, and neither Mom or I can remember her third item. I hope that was not the important one to know! Haha. Mom did ask her if she had a glass of wine every night and she said no.

A fun surprise to the party was that two of the local news channels: Channel 11 KARE and Channel 5 KSTP stopped in to filmed her. Cecilia’s mother lived to be 114 and at one time they were the oldest living mother and daughter. The stories about Cecilia aired on the news programs tonight.

Happy Birthday Cecilia!

A few photos from the party:

Feet glorious feet

It’s been a year since the last foot surgery (the third foot surgery in 5 years for those keeping score) and so back to the podiatrist I went to look into some continuing pain and swelling. The feet, I made them look at both feet this time, are looking good according to the x-ray’s. Everything is healing nicely and the pain and swelling are probably just due to my foot being swollen and in pain for 8+ years and it takes time (12-18 months) for things to heal my podiatrist said (my chiropractor has also been saying this). Time. Grrr. After all this time, I am not too patient when it comes to my feet.

Feet are weird things. They really control you life. Foot pain leads to back pain, and back pain leads to foot pain. Its a vicious circle. You need to create good foot health to be pain free, but very few people do that. Since my three foot surgeries I have refuse to wear any shoes that I am not totally comfortable in. I don’t care how they looks, I just care how they feels. Life is way too short – wear good shoes that make your feet happy and pain free.

Jay Leno

Jay Leno was at the Grand Casino Mille Lacs yesterday (7/27/2018). I had never been to Mille Lacs before and found it to be a pretty drive “up north” which ended at a big lake. A very big lake. We (Mom, Janet, Dave, and I) were perhaps a bit early for Jay’s 7:30pm show, so we ate lunch, played the slots, played the slots, and played the slots. Did I mention how we played the slot machines? Everyone agreed that the slots were not that hot or good as the ones at the Hinckley Casino.

Jay started exactly at 7:30pm and continued to talk for 1.45 hours. No breaks. He had on a suit and tie (we expected his trademark jeans) that were a little bit too big and you could tell that he had lost some weight. Leno was very funny. Not many political jokes and the ones he did were 3-6 months old, so that was a bit odd, because with everything happening these days I really expected him to have some good political jokes. Jay’s jokes about his cat were hysterical and I laughed so hard I was crying. A good show and a fun day.

The Call of Cthulhu

Tried playing The Call of Cthulhu over the weekend. Tried is the important word in that sentence. Is was different and fun, but loud.

The Call of Cthulhu and M&M’s. Need I say more?

The dodo

Behold the noble and majestic dodo!

The book “The dodo and its kindred” from 1848 by H. E Strickland is currently on exhibit at the UMN Wangensteen Library.

Run little pony!

Run little pony run! We had about a dozen friends and family out at Running Aces Running Aces Casino & Racetrack this past Saturday. It was a beautiful day and it was a bit crowded, but sadly that did not explain their bad customer service. The food, i.e. hamburgers, took anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to arrive. In that same time frame you could have gotten back in your car, drove to the local McDonald’s and returned in 15 minutes. Then their electronic betting machines stopped working. And finally, and this is really the worst, I went up to place a bet for an upcoming race and after I was done placing my bet on the current race they refused to let me place a bet on the next race. The guy working at the betting window said they were too busy and to come back later. So a race track not wanting to take your money. Very weird. I mean all the guy has to do is hit a button on his computer screen. So while we had fun, it was very disappointing.

Aho 4th of July Party!

The 4th of July holiday fell weirdly this year – on a Wednesday. What sort of holiday falls on a Wednesday? Plus it rained and was way too humid. Rain and humidity in Minnesota are never a fun combination. But as my Mom had a ton of food, the party was going on rain or shine.

I don’t cook, so this year I brought two dozen bundtinis which were purchased with love! But the most popular food items were the little smokies with bacon made by Cousin Jan. She made, two dozen, 70 of them and it was basically one of those you snooze, you loose food situations (Jan please bring more next year!). Great Aunt Cecilia is 99 years old (100 next month) and was the hit of the party. I purchased a little bundt cake for her and we sang Happy Birthday. Good people, good food, good holiday. And yes, sigh, that is the Union Jack on a lovely trifle made by the Brit in the group who always feels the need to bring a British flag inspired food item every year. Every year.

The underground caverns

A quick visit this past Friday to the ‘The Best from Pen and Press’ exhibit at the UMN Libraries and a tour of the underground storage caverns at Andersen Library (aka where the Archives and Special Collections live). The caverns (there are two) lie below a 30 foot layer of limestone plus an extra 30 feet of topsoil, clay, and gravel, are each two stories high, are the length of two football fields, are built into the cliffs overlooking the Mississippi River, and have a 62 degrees temperature. I last toured the caverns over 10 years ago and they are still a fun place to visit. Plus so many books!