There she blows … Cousins weekend (part 2)

The first blog on cousins weekend was mostly about the lake. This blog is about other activities of our weekend.

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A little shopping entertainment

So what does a group of women do on an women-only weekend. We go shopping. In this case, we went to Spooner, Wisconsin – just a few miles away from the cabin. Spooner has a two  or so block area with several gift and antique stores. Unfortunately for us, we decided to go shopping on Sunday – so some of the stores were not open. (Wouldn’t it be nice if all the merchants got together and were all open during the same times?)

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The store above gets the “My Choice for Best Store” award. It is a book store AND  a yarn store – all in one. There is a nice selection of books and a wide variety of very nice yarns. Even better – if you look closely at the picture above – you will see it is located in a building that was – or is – home to a Masonic Lodge – which typically have interesting architectural details.

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A key feature of this shopping area is this wall mural and small park. There were several areas where shoppers could sit and rest or just people watch.

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The shop called the “Dock” (shown above) was also the entrance to public restrooms — an important feature for women shoppers. We did not visit “The Wobbin Duck Saloon” – nor did we take time for a tattoo. Maybe next time. Maybe not.

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Back at the cabin

At the cabin, we had several visits from a woodchuck – who apparently lives under the shed. We thought about getting a be-be gun to shoot it; and then we thought better.

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We spent a far amount of time playing cards. Since I don’t play cards, I wasn’t the best at it. We played Skipbo and some other high-stakes game (as shown above) where we bet on which cards would appear. I think I won a few – but clearly I could use some practice.

And, there she blows . . . almost a catastrophe

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You’ll have to pardon my rudimentary sketching but this sketch will help you understand our near catastrophe. Later Saturday evening, we had all gathered in living room area of the cabin. I was sitting in the recliner (shown on the right in the sketch); one of my sister-in-laws was sitting in the rocker to the left of the recliner; my niece was in the chair immediately above the recliner that I was sitting in; and my other sister-in-law (and owner of the cabin) was walking between the recliner and the rocker.

I decided that I would hook up my oxygen bottle for the night. (It was empty from use the night before.) However, I have never hooked it up; my husband always does it for me.  So, I put the valve on the tank – as I thought it should be. Then I decided to test it – so I turned the value to open it — just as my sister-in-law walked by (between our two chairs). Well, I didn’t do it correctly and a blast of oxygen shot out, making a loud gushing noise. It either blew my sister-in-law (who was walking) over or it scared her. In any case, she fell forward – into the area between all of the chairs. I was watching her fall and trying to shut off the value – but then, I leaned too far forward – and ended up on the floor — all tangled up in the hose for the tank. I tried to get up by leaning on the chair, which just kept tipping. Finally, I was able to get up – and see that my sister-in-law was okay.

Just one more little problem – the one who fell had knee surgery on both knees, so she can’t lean on them. That makes getting up even harder – and, of course, it’s hard enough for us old folks to get up. After a few minutes of trying to figure out how to help her – we took one of the cushions off the couch and put it on the floor. She was able to scooch over and get onto that cushion; then we took the other cushion and put it on the first one. Again, she was able to scooch onto that cushion. Then it was easy for my niece to pull her to her feet.

After all of that, we just sat in the living room, laughing. I’m sure it was a funny sight – at least for a few minutes. Luckily, I now know how to correctly put the gauge on the oxygen tank. The bonus — the sister-in-law who fell had been suffering with a kink in her back for a few days prior to this incident; the next morning, the kink was gone!!!

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return.

















It depends …


A quick sketch of me shopping by my granddaughter SJH. Perhaps it is me a few years ago.

A quick little story …

Recently I went to Walmart – because I needed some mini-pads. Yes, folks, I said mini-pads. They are a part of  my reality because I cough a lot with my lung disease – and, well – you know what can happen when you cough. Typically I try to get in and out of the sanitary supplies aisle as fast as possible. I’ve even grabbed the wrong product a time or two – because I was in a such a hurry – just so I wasn’t seen in that aisle. Well, after this trip, I don’t think I need to hurry with my purchase.

A couple of years ago I went shopping in search of adult depends (disposable underwear) for my brother-in-law who is now eighty years old. There was very little to choose from – just a few options and not many in stock for any of the options. Last weekend, however, one whole side of the sanitary products aisle was packed full of various sizes, styles and brands of disposable underwear.


This is not the aisle from the store I was at but it looked similar, packed full of sanitary products.

When I arrived, there were a three people shopping in the sanitary products aisle; none of them were in a hurry to make their selection. One couple thoroughly discussed the various attributes of each brand: Is the elastic too tight on the legs? Maybe you should get a bigger size. You don’t want them too tight – what if they rip? Etc.  Interestingly, the folks looking at the products were not old-timers; they were more likely in their fifties (keeping in mind that I am not good at guessing ages or they just didn’t look their age). And, seemingly, as soon as one customer left the aisle, another appeared. That made it hard for me to get my product and get out of there – in a hurry – and hopefully relatively undetected. The aisles are so narrow, I couldn’t just sneak in between the other customers.

Finally I grabbed my product – well, actually I grabbed two – so I don’t have to go back anytime soon. The good thing – I don’t need to feel embarassed when buying sanitary supplies – no one else seems to be.

Thanks for reading! I hope this story made you smile a little.

Disclaimer. This is not an ad or endorsement for Depends. It is just a story I couldn’t resist. 


Nature and shopping … all in a day trip

Last Saturday my friend Pammy and I went on a day trip. Our intended destination … St. Croix Falls to see the turning leaves. A few things kept us from reaching our intended destination (until the end of the day). You see, we kept getting side-tracked.

First, we spotted these swans and couldn’t resist a photo op.

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Then we spotted a yarn store in Cambridge …

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We next headed east on Hwy. 95 toward North Branch and visited a few garage sales and thrift stores. Below are my teapot finds at the thrift stores.


We then headed toward Lindstrom, in search of a yarn store that we heard about from the folks at the yarn store in Cambridge. The yarn store in Lindstrom was amazing ( and connected to a game store and tea shop); the owner was very entertaining. It was easy to spend a lot of time in her store – and she gave us more suggestions for places to stop. After lunch in Center City, we followed her suggestions and …

went to an orchard …


Then to the historic village area of Franconia which contains many of the original homes…

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And then on to the Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Mn., a 43-acre outdoor sculpture park. There is also a residence for artists on the site. Access to the park is free.

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The park is interspersed with walking paths, providing access to the sculptures, and large areas of prairie grass. Golf carts are available for those who can’t walk the 43 acres … which was a blessing for me.

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The photos below show some of the sculptures. There are many more …

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Next we headed to Taylors Falls, in search of yet another yarn store. Alas, by the time we arrived, they had already closed for the day. Maybe next time.

As we left town, we caught a marvelous view of the St. Croix River and the city of St. Croix Falls on the other side. But, as you can see, the leaves have fallen and most of the color is gone. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful day. Nature and shopping … you just can’t beat that.

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Thanks for reading! I hope you will visit again.