Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Walking at Sunset

High Bridge at Sunset

Concert Stage

We have had two days now with below normal temperatures after a month of above normal temperatures. The cold north wind finally went away this afternoon. (This had been much more than a nuisance -- the gusts were 50-60 MPH and some areas had damage.) I got home about 4:30 and sat down with a drink -- don't get too excited -- Diet Coke, while I waited for my dinner to warm in the microwave. By 6 PM I was enjoying the sunny weather out the window so decided to take off for a bit with the camera to see what was happening outside. Here are two pictures, one of the High Bridge at sunset and the other is a photo of a concert stage across the river on Harriett Island. One of the things I love about living in my new place is how I can find such beauty in about 30 seconds out the door.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September Walk Adventures

River Barges
Grain Terminal Historic Landmark

Today was the 10th day in September when the afternoon temperature rose above 80 degrees. Minnesotans are loving this. While I was in Poland, Minnesota and many other states was experiencing one of the coolest summers on record. Obviously it was too good a day to stay inside. So I abandoned the computer and went walking for a bit. It is such a joy to walk out the door and find all this beauty.

In this area there is a grain terminal now operated as a small museum. The grain terminal is now a historic landmark, so will stay part of the neighborhood forever. While I was in Poland it go a paint job and looks much better. It marks the time in which farmers organized into cooperatives to ship their grain via the river rather than the railroads which were charging exorbinant fees.

Moored next to the grain terminal are about 8 barges. I think there are staying there for a bit and will soon be filled with harvested grain, corn, and soybeans and then start the trip elsewhere.

The last photo is from the front of the building, the bluff side. There is small rain storage pond there. The fountain is pretty, but more importantly is designed as a way to continue to aerate the water so mosquito larva will not grow.

Love it here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Working on Problems

Today I called about the fact that delivery on Saturday was done wrong. I asked to have the delivery fee back and it worked. Now I'm the first on the list for Wednesday morning. I'm sure that means someone will be here at 8 AM, so I will get up early!!!

Today I was expecting paperwork from Hungary. I found a note that this was delievered to the office. When I went to the office, no luck! They said they would ask the UPS delivery tomorrow. About two hours later the office called back and said they had found the delivery!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Today I was expecting my new dining table and chairs to be delivered between 2:30 - 4:30. When I got a call today for a delivery of a bedroom set at 1:30 I said, "No, I was going to call to schedule that on Monday." We waited until 4:00 and when no table had appeared I started to call. Finally at 4:45 I found there would be no delivery because I had refused it. Now I have to wait until Wednesday. My daughter thinks I should ask to have the delivery fee refunded. I'm going to definitely ask for that!

Friday, September 11, 2009

More driving around

Out my windows I see a green space, then Shephard Road and then two railroad tracks. Actually the tracks are quite hidden right now by trees. Behind the tracks is a large wall, maybe 75 feet high. It is actually a reinforced bluff for the Mississippi River valley. The valley here is quite large, perhaps 3/4 mile wide, left over from the glacial days. I have been wondering what were the buildings on the top of the bluff. Then this morning I saw a Catholic sister walking about on the top of the bluff. After work I decided to go for a bit of drive to see what is on top of the bluff. I found it is the hospice operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor. A bit to the left is an old Victorian red brick house that is currently being renovated. So that's what is across the valley, and these seem to very nice neighbors.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Driving Around Adventures

Today I picked up my older daughter and we went on a driving adventure. During October I'll be spending most Mondays and Tuesdays supervising community health nursing students doing hearing and vision screening at various schools in the Hopkins School District. I went to find all the involved schools, as well as taking a long, boring drive to one school in the St. Francis School District. Now I have to photoshop the pictures and then post all this information on the course web site.

Along the way I tried to find a new backpack for my oldest granddaughter. Her father was supposed to buy this, but didn't. The day before school starts is not the time to look for a backpack, that's for sure. I did find some replacement for some of my Fiesta dishes that never got packed and moved. While doing that I found some bedding that I feel in love with, and now my bedroom is moving into a whole new direction. Hope to get things organized enough to get the new bed delivered some time next week.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Views of my New Adventure

River Lights

New Kitchen

I've been in my new place for 3 weeks. Tonight I decided to walk out to see how things looked in the dark. Here is a view of the lights on the river. Most of the white reflections come from the lights on the High Bridge. My older daughter rode the school bus over this bridge every day when she went to high school.

I've been unpacking, sorting, and taking things to either Good Will or Artscraps. The kitchen is at least completely settled.

Today I bought a new dining set. It will be delivered on Saturday. Then perhaps will come pictures of the dining/living room area.

Friday, September 4, 2009

How we say Zywiec in Minnesota

My Polish readers will know exactly what Zywiec means in Poland, at least if one can write with a Polish keyboard and make the letters fit the Polish language. Here's what Zywiec means in Minnesota. I went to a meeting this morning and then to the grocery store. Right at the entrance was a display of sweet corn from the Zywiec Vegetable Farm in Cottage Grove. I brought some home even though on Polish Forums one writer said "only the very poor people in America eat corn." (Not all misperceptions live on the West side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Adventures in Perception

I know I had no idea of what Poland was like before I went the first time. However, what I've heard lately amazes me. I was with four teams of Americans while in Poland. One family said they wanted to visit a Communist country and were surprised to find Polish "people are just like us." I bit my tongue and didn't ask why persons in that family had not noticed 1989, the changes in Poland, and all the other changes in the former Soviet dominated countries.

Last night a potential volunteer called me. One of her questions was whether the hotels used in Poland would be clean. Clean! I've never seen anyone who cleans like the Polish! Why on earth would someone ask that question. Clearly there are some very great misperceptions in this country about Central Europe.

But one volunteer said she was going to go home and tell everyone to visit Poland. All she had heard about was Prague and she thought Poland and its beautiful cities are hidden gems.