Category: Family

County Fair 2017

I enjoy being creative and that means art, canning, photography, and writing. I hope these blog posts will be memories in the future. For myself and also for my children. I hope they remember we laughed, created things, loved each other and had fun. County Fair is all of those things wrapped into one.  This past week was the Swift County. Our fair is 5 days and we made it there everyday. It may have been entering our items, working the fair, checking out or ribbons, or catching the entertainment.

This year I entered 30 items into the fair. Greta entered 2 in 4H and 2 in open class. Henry entered 2 in 4H. Chad said his customary line,”I really need to make something for the fair next year.”

We had fun at the fair. From working the 4H food booth.


To seeing the kids projects. Greta had some great drawings which earned a blue. Henry ended up with a grand champion in Aerospace.


We ate well at the fair. From pork chops to pie.


There were animals, balloons and rides oh my! 


I experienced something new at this fair. We went to a demo derby. I took the kids and it was fun. Not what I expected and I couldn’t believe how many people were there.


The big exciting thing at our fair was Marty Stewart and His Fabulous Superlatives were there Saturday night. As a radio person I plugged this event for a month so I was darn excited to get there. It was fun and totally worth the wait.


I faired pretty well with ribbons this year. Came home with a grand champion also which made my year.


The fair is over for the year but my mind is already mulling over what can be made and created for next year. I sure hope this is something that we never say,” Do you remember when we had county fairs?”

Till next year…

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40 Years Old

Couple weeks ago I turned 40. It felt freeing. It felt like I hit an age where I can be more my own person, where I don’t always have to try to please.  An age where I can gain more independence. I am sure many people learn these things before 40 but for me it has been the last couple years moving in the direction to get to this point.

A few months ago I decided I wanted a birthday party. I haven’t had a party with a friend since I was probably 13. It was time. I was excited to plan food, decorations and just host people for the afternoon.

I started getting down the day of the party. First my mom got sick and unable to make it out for the weekend. Then people who told me they were coming were no shows. I was bummed but I kicked myself and told myself to look around. My dad and grandma drove out. My sister in law came, a couple friends from town came. I was blessed. I saw my husband laughing and talking with his high school buddy. I was so touched that a friend from church came. I was so excited that a best friend from high school drove 3 hours to surprise me with a birthday cake. I loved seeing her and her husband and brother. A friend that is busy with 3 kids made time. And my best friend that just lost her beautiful daughter came to celebrate my birthday. Yes, I looked around and saw that my cup runneth over with blessings from above. I enjoyed myself, I found myself laughing, playing beanbag toss and loving my life.

I have to share pictures of this cake. It was stunning and an amazing chocolate and cherry.


The next day we had my husbands family came over for another party. It was a fun time had by all. I was surrounded in love all weekend.

I am now 40 and for some reason being married over 17 years with 2 children, I now feel like a full adult. I love my job. I love my volunteer jobs dealing with hearing loss, I am loving life right now. 40 will be good.

I love my friends and so thankful for everyone that celebrated with me. It was a great weekend. 

I don’t think I am over the hill. I am just starting to really enjoy life by getting involved in it.

Heartbroken

My mind and emotions are all over on this post so I hope I can make sense and also give a tribute to a very fierce and strong little fighter.

I have a good friend, you know one of those friends that you feel you can pour your soul out to.  This friend has a beautiful family.  She has a husband that is a welder and worked with my husband.  She also has two beautiful children that are similar in ages to my kids.  They love to play and just be wild together.  This beautiful friend became pregnant last year.  I was so excited for her to be a mother to another child.  She is a great mother and her kids glow with the love they are given.  It was early on in the pregnancy that problems arouse but I prayed and trusted all would be ok.  Charlotte Adella was born on February 3rd.  She was absolutely beautiful, little and pink.  Charlotte looked perfect but her heart was far from it.  This little girl had to go hurdle over hurdle from such a small age.  In fact Charlotte never left the hospital.  She lived her whole life in a hospital.  Charlotte was born with Noonan’s and had a rare heart condition she was the 11th case ever recorded in the world and never seen in this severity in a new born.  Charlotte never gave up she was fierce and tough.

When I would receive texts from her mom I loved seeing the pictures.  Charlotte had eyes that seemed to pierce my soul.  She could move mountains with those eyes.

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Myself and my family feel into a deep love with Charlotte.  We prayed for Charlotte each and everyday.  My first thoughts in the morning was how is the little princess doing and my last thought at night was Thank God she made it through another day.

Charlotte needed a new heart.  With my whole heart I believed that heart would come.  Charlotte would get the heart and her body would start to heal and she would move home with her family.  Her family had moved to the hospital a few hours away so it was months since I had seen my friend.  I missed her and my heart hurt for this horrible rollercoaster her life had become.

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About a week or so ago I was shopping with my daughter and I received a text.  Charlotte wasn’t doing well and she was going to die the next day as machines would be turned off.  I about feel to my knees.  My daughter and I just held each other and cried in the hall of the mall.  How could this be happening.  I think of the pain and the hurt I felt and I know that isn’t a fraction of what Charlotte’s family was feeling in that moment.

We attended Charlotte’s wake and funeral.  She was absolutely beautiful.  I am so sorry I had to meet her finally in that way.  I feel privileged that I got to see her, my eyes and mind will make a memory of a beautiful girl dressed in a little white gown.  I found it not fair.  I was planning on going to see my friends and finally meet their little girl just 3 days before the funeral.  Who would have thought that the road would have turned and I would be attending a funeral instead.

I think of all the wakes and funerals I attended as a child and my dad always put his arm around me and said they are in a better place now.  They lived a good long life.  This funeral last week was my son’s first funeral.  I couldn’t say those lines.  Charlotte’s didn’t have a good long life.  Her life was taken from her way to soon.

Charlotte’s parents, Dave and Nikki are some of the strongest parents I know.  This is the second child I knew that passed away from a heart defect.  My heart aches for the parents and siblings of these children.  The hurt will never go away.  I wish there was a way to make it go away but that would erase that child’s memory which you don’t want to do.  Nikki will always be the mother to 3 beautiful children.

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I love Nikki as a sister and it hurts me so much that she has to go through this hurt and loss.  I pray for comfort but that just doesn’t seem like enough.  Fly high and free sweet baby girl.  Heaven has gained an absolutely beautiful angel.

When I heard the news of Charlotte’s passing this is the song I went and listened to- it seemed appropriate and allowed the tears to freely flow.

Farm Auction

This past week was a bittersweet day, my father in law and his brother had a farm auction.  They have both retired from farming and it was time to get rid of the machinery so an auction was in order.  I know this wasn’t my birth family but I have been part of the Lundquist family for 20 years.  They are my family and I have grown to love the spring and fall hub-bub of the farm.  If it was delivering a picnic lunch to eat in the field.  If it was finding my husband in a field and we got to do a quick hug and kiss behind a tractor there was something powerful about it.  Something from the soil that sinks deep into your soul.  There is a pride aspect there that you are feeding the world.  I loved going on those cool crisp autumn days and bringing coffee and a snack to the guys working out in the fields.

That time is gone now for the Lundquist family.  The land is there but being farmed by another family.

An auction is a family and community affair.  Everyone comes to see what is for sale, to the support the family, and see what things sell for.  I didn’t make the auction I was working but I talked about the auction a lot on air, I work on the radio.  I went to the farm after work and heard all about the sale and I saw lots of smiles.  I knew it went well.

The Lundquist’s may not be farming that land anymore but their blood and life is still in that soil.  When their hands held that dirt and dug in that dirt their linage and their story went into that dirt.  There are history, stories, and tears being held in that soil.  That soil provided for many families and generations.  That black dirt holds the DNA of families that worked hard, loved God, and loved their families.

 

16 Years Since We Have Talked

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This past weekend marked 16 years since my grandpa has passed.  My heart still aches for him almost daily.  I don’t know if I have ever felt such a strong connection to an individual than my grandpa.  This was a man that was gruff, he swore, drank and smoked till that nearly killed him.  He was a real man.  He was a man with convictions.  He was a man that had ever fiber of my being wrapped around his finger.  I had the privilege of living on the same street as my grandpa from 4th grade till 10th grade when we moved.  We even lived with my grandparents on two short term stints.  To walk, ride my bike to their house is an amazing gift I had as a child.  To see him driving down the street or come into the cafe for a cup of coffee when I was working was so special.  I was truly blessed to have that time with him.  He was hard on me.  He would ask how my classes are going, ask about my grades.  He was so proud of me when I attended college and then graduated with a Bachelors degree.  I will never forget the hug and I knew you could do it kid comment I got from him.

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When Chad met my grandpa I think he was in shell shock.  He didn’t know how to take his abuse.  If you knew Duane or Mickey as his friends called him he did give abuse and grief to you.  That is how you knew he accepted you.  You were one of the group and the family then.  One of my favorite memories of grandpa and Chad were right after we were married.  Chad got hurt at work and burned one hand pretty bad and he broke his finger and messed up the other hand pretty bad also.  So he was pretty much worthless with his hands for a few days.  I had invited my grandparents over to our house and I had made a ham.  I watched my grandpa grab Chad’s plate and he cut up his food.  A simple gesture but it made such a profound impact in my memories.

I remember the night of my grandpas death like yesterday.  Our phone was down and the phone company needed to come and repair the line.  I had called my parents from a pay phone that morning and alerted them we didn’t have a phone till the repair guys came.  This was before we had cell phones.  Chad and I went that day to Eau Claire, WI and did some shopping and I remember I bought a new spring jacket at Sears, of all the things to remember.  We went to bed and Chad woke me up past midnight that someone was knocking on the door.  We went to the door and there was my dad and grandma.  They had driven to Hammond WI to tell me that Grandpa died that night.  They knew my phone didn’t work and they didn’t want us to find out the next day.  My dad driving grandma over to my house is a courtesy I can never forget.  It was the saddest moment but also most touching moment in my life.  They cared enough to deliver the news in person to me after they had just lost their dad and husband.

16 years ago, I can’t believe it has been that long.  I so wish he could have met my children.  How he would have loved Greta and Henry.  How he would have loved to give them a hard time.  To see them preform in band, or school activities.  Maybe see them in a baseball/softball game.  He would have loved to see his great grand-kids because he would have been a “great” Grandfather.

I will always have the memories or my grandfathers pants hanging from the dining room chair with his service gun sitting on the table.  It was a ritual for him and one I miss seeing.

I have had several dreams with grandpa in them through the years.  They bring such comfort but also really mess with my head for days after those dreams.  They are so real, it is as if he is talking to me about a situation in my life now.  I really believe grandpa has helped me with numerous decisions in the past few years.  He visited me in a dream most recently after I accepted the job at the radio.  He told me to go for it.  He told me that I can talk crap and I can be anyone’s friend and that is what I needed to be a local voice on the radio.  I was very conflicted when I got the offer of the job and this really made my heart go in agreement with my brain.  Grandpa said go for it.  I am so glad I did because I am so happy and I hope to God he knows that!

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Finding Love


Valentine’s Day is here. I am not a girl that gets flowers, or gifts. I am not upset about this, just our relationship. In fact I told my husband I was going to have some balloons delivered to his workplace today. He told me tomorrow divorce papers would be delivered to me. He is just not a guy of public displays of affection, but always has a kiss or an I love you for me. I love my husband and I thought this Valentine’s Day would be a good time to tell how we met. 

Many many years ago I was working for the State of Minnesota. During that time in order to get a promotion or another job you had to take a written test and be put on a list. I was taking a test on a Saturday morning in St Paul. On the way out I grabbed a Meeting People magazine. I should back up a tad. I had just gotten back from a semester of school down in New Mexico. During my time there I found myself a little more, I tried to break out of the very hard shell of insecurity I had around me. During my time away I broke up with my boyfriend that had become very controlling. I realized I was worth more. 

A week or so before this fated Saturday my mom had made the comment, “you should let me pick your husband.” Well that was the craziest thing I had ever heard. But in saying and thinking that why couldn’t a parent know what is good for their child. Would they want their child to be unhappy or in a bad marriage? Still I didn’t like the idea of this at all. Now we are back to the Saturday and the Meeting People magazine. I got home and threw the magazine at my mom as a joke. Asking her to pick my husband, in a very sarcastic tone. 

Few days had past and the magazine was given back to me with dog eared pages and circles drawn. I thought are you kidding me she actually went though this thing. I was really in shock. I expected this had been thrown away. 

I went downstairs and decided to read the ads mom had circled. There was one ad that stood out to me. One that seemed to call to me. I did the unthinkable.  I wrote a letter. I told of me, of our new puppy, school and my major. I sent this letter off with no mention to ANYONE. 

A few weeks passed and my family got another new piece of technology, caller ID. A Chad Lundquist kept calling our house but we were never home. Messages were never left. This was about driving my father nuts. Who is this Chad and what does he want. Finally one night he called and I was home. He was the placer of the ad. We talked on the phone that night almost 2 hours. There was an immediate connection over the phone. I had to go upstairs and tell my parents who I was on the phone with. They were shocked and even more shocked I had answered an ad. 

We talked a bunch of times on the phone. Finally we met and had dinner, a drink and a movie. Worst movie ever but it was fun. We doubled dated with a friend and her boyfriend for the movie. Wow that would have been 1998. Seems like so long ago but at the same time last week. 

I loved dating Chad. We had so much fun. What I love is I could open up to Chad. I could tell him anything. The dark secrets you hold inside were easy to tell him. From our first meeting to our wedding was two years. Lots of has happened to us. Lots of stuff that probably would have caused couples to split. I love Chad he is my Valentine. 

He surprises me still. A couple nights ago we were driving home and he grabbed my hand and said he was proud of me. It took me off guard. He explained he was proud of me and the volunteer jobs I hold. He is proud of me for putting myself out there. That comment while holding my hand is exactly the kind of Valentine’s gifts I need. He is my Valentine. 

One Foot in the Present and One in the Past

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Do you ever get that feeling that you are living in the wrong period of time.  Don’t get me wrong I love all the new modern technology.  A lot of technology has helped me in this world. Digital hearing aid, streamers, and personal loops have made a huge difference for me.  I also love the internet.  What I am getting at is crafting, cooking, gardening.  I know people do these things now in time but I don’t believe it is as prevalent than generations before us.

I enjoy having my garden.  Snapping peas or beans, making a BLT with a homegrown tomato is wonderful.  It sure beats a store bought any day of the week.  Seeing the plants grow, getting to maturity get me excited for canning.  Another skill that is declining.  I love to water bath can and to pressure can.  Knowing we have food and meals on a shelf is a satisfying feeling.  You never know when money may be tight, storms and you can’t get to a store, or a zombie apocalypse.  All very plausible and canned goods would be imperative.  Can you tell I am thinking spring!

Cooking from scratch is another lost art.  There is plenty of people that cook but there are so many box meals, take out, fast food.  Don’t get me wrong we do that also but I am trying so hard not to.  I want to use basic whole food ingredients for my family.  I want and enjoy making a meal from start to end.  Can be a little stressed on nights where there are evening activities but I get it accomplished most nights.  Knowing what is in our food I believe is the first step in trying to get healthy.  Slow and steady wins the race I have been told.  Call me old fashioned but I feel if I am home before my husband it is my job to make a meal for us all.  Minus the tablecloth, good china, a dress and a string of pearls.

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Lastly is crafts.  I love crafting.  I love seeing something in a magazine or online and trying to make it.  If that would be painting, jewelry, or decorating.  My main craft I go back to for almost 30 years is knitting.  For a birthday when I was a teenager I received a wicker basket with knitting needles and blue and yellow yarn from my aunt.  She taught me to knit and I made my first scarf that was an homage to my Swedish heritage.  I have left knitting behind at times but it is like an old friend and always welcomes me back.  When I attended college in New Mexico blankets were knitted for people.  It was a good past time.  Scarfs and hats have been made for my children.  For a while I knitted and sold my items under, Ausome Knits.  My knitting needles have been out again this winter.  A new scarf for my son, a couple birthday gifts are being made.  Tonight at church we are having a crafting night.  Bring what ever projects you are working on and we can fellowship and work on them together.

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Now there are some skills I wish I could get a little stronger at.  Sewing, I have a couple sewing machines.  I would like to boost my skills in this area. Also small needle crafts like cross stitch.  I have never done this but I think it looks like another good past time.

Could I live in another time period.  I think I could.  It wouldn’t be as easy as now but heck I have never owned or had a dishwasher so that dreaded chore would be the same.  Going to have to live one foot in the present and one in the past.

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