Aloha,

My realtor took up so much of my time this week I’m a little behind here in my blog 🙂  I got an email from her about a downtown Minneapolis condo with a great view of the Mississippi which started Karen and me on a quest, yet again, to find a place closer to E&Z&H&G. Slow isn’t our way to go so of course we hit it hard.  Open houses, agent showings, hours and hours and hours on the internet, a whole lot of driving around, and good discussions about all of it. We love our place now and the only not perfect piece is it’s too far from our kids.  We searched very hard and just couldn’t find anything that would work for us. Now if we had just a few hundred thousand more to work with …. So we’re staying put.

Had some fun reconnections with my prison life this week.  Lowell Schmidt retired from Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights.  He was an electronic tech at the prison and hired when the place open in 1983.  In the photo he’s holding plaques (given to him by his fellow maintenance crew) showing components of electronic security systems that used “bailing wire” to keep running when they were so old that parts were no longer available.  He is a class act and had a great retirement send off.

The other Big House connection is with my dear friend Jerry (Pete) Peterson and the Minnesota Twins display case he set up at a senior center by his home.  He does security for the Twins and had saved all this material over the years; the local Hastings paper covered the story.  Pete was one of my first correction’s supervisors and was a huge positive influence on me and my career.

In one of the photos Harper is doing art at our kitchen island with a lit-up, battery-powered angel near by.  She keeps this angel with her art supplies and usually brings it out when she is coloring.  A friend gave my mom that angel and when Harper was having multiple blood draws each week, my mom called one day and said she wanted to send it to her to make the draws go easier.  Each time Harper brings it out I get little twinge in my heart.

Until just the last few days we have had a lot of cold, rainy, snowy and cloudy days so H & G have played inside a lot so Karen bought a lot of puzzles to add to the Toy Collection. I don’t care for puzzles (at all!) but if either of them asks me to do one I’m totally game—I’m not the best at them but I some how have a great time.

Both kids also love books and one blustery day Gus opened up my book, Freedom Riders, and started to point to maps and photos and discuss the book like we were having a book club meeting. Look at the backpack he has on while sitting in the chair.  That kid surprises me all the time!

Both H&G are eager to help Karen cook and I got a photo of Gus helping make one of his favorites, buttered noodles with grated Parmesan. Karen said he wanted to taste the water as the noodles were cooking and taste the noodles at different stages. Karen also showed him how to rap the wooden spoon on the edge of the pot to get rid of the excess water. He had to practice that move many, many times.  Please look closely at that picture and see the Lightning McQueen flashlight in his hand as he’s cooking.

I’m off now to check the weather report for grandkid days, Tuesday and Wednesday—I hope this week we can get them to the ever popular Teddy Bear Park!

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