Saturday, May 31, 2008

American Idol Revisited

I was treated to quite a performance yesterday afternoon by these two future Amercian Idol contestants! The girls were listening to their tape of songs by the American Idol finalists and asked me who my favorite was. Of course I said Chikizee and Jillian reminded me he had lost... she asked me who my next favorite was and I said "Syesha" and her eyes lit up and she said "me toooooo! so just wait Grandma"... I continued to read my magazine and the next thing I knew she said "turn around" and this is what I saw! She had put on her gown, adorned her face with plenty of make-up (that purple eyeshadow did the trick), grabbed her crown and her microphone, hit song #2 on the Boombox and proceeded to entertain me with a glowing rendition of Syesha's "One Rock'n Roll Too Many" complete with finger snapping and sexy hand-on-the-hip walking! ! I was astonished how she knew all the words and certainly was bustin' the same moves as Syesha did onstage! ! Delaney soon joined in the show and a whole lot of dancing & singing was done by all....Whoah Ryan and Ann! Enjoy those teen years!!

Look Grandma, Look!

Ann found these adorable chairs at a rummage sale, so this is what I got to watch Elliott do all afternoon yesterday! Each trip up he would look at me as if to say "Aha Granny, I DID it!" His new vocabulary is quite interesting....especially when you ask him his name and he proudly announces "JOOOOOOO"...evidently after his favorite monkey they named Joe.

Friday, May 30, 2008


So...this morning I'm handed the Chanhassen elementary route...the one in the upscale neighborhoods where the mom's are not employed outside the know the stops where when you pull up the mom's are all standing there with their tanner than tan legs, dressed in their black Nike jogging short-shorts, with matching black Nike jogging jackets, their crisp white running shoes, their hair pulled back up under a baseball cap in a pony-tail and their big dark sunglasses on...some have their husband's hunting dogs in tow, other's have their foo-foo designer dogs in arm - - and they either have their coffee mug or their bottled water in the other hand...and better yet, they each try to out-do the other when hugging or kissing or waving their child good-bye....and as I drive away something inside me thinks "Man, I'm glad I'm out of "that" stage of life". I don't mean to be cynical, because I'm all for Mom's being there when their child leaves for school each day... maybe it's guilt on my part, because not once for either of my kids was I ever there in the morning before school... I was always the one out driving that bus. BUT, it's funny to me in part, because I could take a picture at every stop and they'd end up being almost identical. Anyway, the point of my thoughts in this is there are also the other neighborhoods I drove in today that don't have any Mom standing there waiting with their child to hug them goodbye... those Mom's are either working outside the home or possibly still inside with a younger child, or still sleeping or simply just don't like waiting at a bus stop. So I pull up to one of those type neighborhoods to find 6 kids standing there alone.... 5 boys, 1 girl... all about 8 years in age. The girl has tears rolling down her cheeks. I have to try to deduce if one of the boys has done something to her to cause the tears, or if it's something completely different. I watch with interest as she gets on and gets seated as to how those 5 boys treat her to get a better take on the situation. Several of them just ignore her tears, yet there is one young man who keeps talking to her from two seats behind, trying to console her, and better yet, trying to help her problem -solve! Turns out, she forgot money for her field trip and the bus was coming and of course there was no Mom there to help her out, nor do kids this age have cell phones (well most of them). What caused me to stop and ponder this situation was the compassion the boy had for this girl. Not sure why I am so interested in human behavior this late in my life, but it fascinates me to observe people's behavior. I've always remembered when at MHS and one of my good friends was the counselor with the office next to mine and she would explain to me "all behavior is need based Sandi, when you figure out the person's real need, you'll understand their behavior, and if you can't stand being around their behavior it's OK to say "your behavior is getting in the way of our communication or any productivity in our relationship" and politely remove yourself from the situation". So anyway, I was impressed with not only the compassion of this young man, I was also impressed with the way he helped her problem-solve on their own. He offered up many suggestions as to what she could do once she got to school, and her tears dried up. Which brings up another issue I think parents are lacking in these days... teaching their kids on how to problem-solve on their own! Too many times, the parent just steps in and solves the problem for them, or steps in and doesn't let the consequences fall as they should, and we end up with a generation of kids who don't know how to figure out ways to what I call "self-problem-solve". SO! All this led me to think about compassion... do I have enough of it? Am I the kind of person who steps forward to help another in need? Then I thought about my own 7 grandkids... and I had to laugh because I could tell you right off the bat which one of them I know has the most compassion! AND I could also tell you which one of them has the attitude of "hey, it's not MY problem"....which led me to wonder, is compassion something you are born with? OR is it something your own path of life experiences has brought to your personality? Hummmm.... more thoughts to ponder on for the day... and if I had had any cash along with me on the bus this morning I would have given that little girl the money she needed for her big field trip day...but then I guess, I'd be problem-solving for her wouldn't I?

Friday, May 23, 2008

This was the view as I stepped out the back door at 6:00 AM this morning to drive bus... another "aha" moment that I just had to stop and spend a few moments taking it all in. The morning got a little worse from there... I ended up with what's known as the "Pickle Plant" route again... the trailer court down the cliff from the Gedney Pickle Factory where most of the plant workers from Mexico live. Nice thing about this route ? It has two whole stops... and your fully loaded.... you get to head straight to the Middle School and let 'em go. I was still in the moment of the beauty of the spring morning when my thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the two male 7th grade students sitting behind me.... one had evidently seen two women kissing on the Grey's Anatomy TV show finale last evening and was questioning the other about why they would do that... from which point I got to listen to a very detailed explanation from the other young boy about what a lesbian is....evidently the other kid knew what a gay man was... but had no idea anything like that existed between "moms"???????? he then went on to explain that there were other types of relationships too....! aaaahhhhh yes... after all these years of driving bus and you think you'd heard it all ---

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another Favorite.....

I was watching the commercial tonight where the grandson takes his grandpa out for dinner at the Olive Garden and tells him to order whatever he'd like cuz the meal's on him....wondering when that day would come for me with one of my grandsons! But, it made me remember my all-time favorite commercial... the one that causes me to have a true belly-laugh. It came out a few yrs. ago and involved a young woman moving off to college for the first time with her mom and of course, her grandma tagging along to make sure the room was decorated just perfectly! The young girl runs off to take care of business and returns to her room evidently thinking that her mom and G'ma would have headed home by then... instead she walks in with a group of her newly made friends all cheery and giggly only to find her mother sitting at her new desk and worse yet, her old Grandma snoring logs in her new dorm bunk!! Humiliated as ever, she proceeds to scream "MOMMMMMMM! ! Granny's SLEEPING in MY BED" All while Granny just peacefully snored away..... I mean, she was tired for heaven's sake from the big move! For some reason, the picture of that just rang so true of Me, Ria and Katelyn someday! I'm still laughing just remembering it while I write this. Hopefully, I'll never embarass any of my grandkids like that... at least I promise I'll try dear Katelyn, Carter, Cooper, Kennedy, Delaney, Jillian and Elliott!


This is by far the latest in the season I have ever planted my geraniums.... with the sun finally out and the trees in full blossom, I think I can finally hit the flower market downtown Chaska tommorow. Even my lilac bushes have started to bloom! My tulips down below gotta get with it though... still no colorful blooms.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I think today was the first time in my youth of 55 years that I gave a great deal of thought to a person leaving their mark on my life. After attending the Memorial Service, and remembering myself at age of 21 working alongside Ellie, I realized there was alot more than the gold coin ring that she left with me for life. It was amazing how I could so readily remember her smile...after 36 yrs.. the perfect shaped lips and teeth, even the tones of her voice. As her nieces and nephews shared their stories, they were all things I had remembered about her too... and then I realized she was the same age I am right now during the year I spent with her. It was great to see the pictures of her life, see how things had turned out so beautiful for her. She met the man of her dreams at age 64, married him, sold her business at age 65 and proceeded to travel the world. She also wintered in Sun City, AZ but the thing surprising me the most was that she summered in an adorable, tiny cabin on Lake Shamineau where I used to attend Bible Camp with my own kids. I was pleasantly surprised when her brother's daughter came up to me afterwards and asked me to introduce myself, telling me that she recognized me from my time at the agency. I was grateful for her patience in answering my questions about Ellie's life and found out that she spent the last 4 yrs. at Friendship Village enduring the stages of Alzheimers, but still dressing to the nines with her beautiful, thick page-boy hair, and perfectly made up lips. The entire experience was heartwarming, and I'm so thankful I got to be a part of it. I gotta tell ya though, I've never sat with such a crowd of exquisitely dressed elderly, diamond clad, wealthy women! The lady to my left was a Mpls. born movie star by the name of Laura something who flew back for the service... she certainly had the face of a 20 yr. old under that Hollywood hat that she wore...gorgeous....but her hands? Hey, there were older looking, and more full of arthritis than mine...although her diamond ring was the size of the face on my watch :-) Obviously, when they re-did her face, she forgot about her hands.... too bad, but I'm proud that what you see with me is what God gave me to work with... I was part of the group of gals that came with their gold coin rings on though! What a legacy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

An Era Ended

Do you ever have one of those "moments" in life where when it's done, you just sorta got sit back and go "uhhhh whoah...that sure was meant to be". Well, this morning I had one of those. Back in 1972, after graduating from the MN School of Business and living over on the U of M Campus waiting for Dan to graduate, one of my first jobs was at the Eleanor Moore Model and Talent Agency. My boss Ellie Moore, was famous in the Twin Cities for her modeling career and now her modeling agency. She was expanding into the TV and Radio markets and hired me to be her right-hand gal. I didn't realize it at that time in my life, but it was the perfect job for me. Had I stayed working there for her, I'm sure I would have owned the place by now, as the job had every aspect of what I now realize are the things I enjoy about being out in the workplace. Ellie took me under her wing...introduced me to people like Loni Anderson (of the WKRP-TV show), Nick Nolte (now famous movie star) and a host of Metro TV personalities. She took me along on TV commerical shoots, she took me along when she went shopping in the prestigious Oval Room in Downtown Daytons (where she was treated like a star), brought me over to her home on Lake of the Isles for lunch (I was so in awe), she signed me up for a membership to her health spa (which were things only for the rich and famous back then), she let me drive her fiery-orange camaro convertible sports car around town on her errands, and she pretty much taught me everything she knew about clothes and makeup. Her words of "Sandi my dear, when you find a pair of pants or shoes that truly fit you and you love them, then buy them in every single color they come in!" still stay with me to this day. Her studio was located down off Lake Street a block up from Lake Calhoun, I took the bus down Hennepin Avenue daily to get to work, and my monthly pay-check from her totaled $304.00 per month. I LOVED working there. However, life had different things in store for me such as children and a move back to Pelican Rapids in 1973, so my time there lasted only a year. I never saw Ellie again. After moving back to Mpls. in 2004, my thoughts often turned to going to look Ellie up. Then about 2 yrs. ago, Ria called me and said the twins had an interview at her studio and wanted driving directions. This led me to a trip back over to Lake Street on a Sunday and a walk down memory lane as I peered into the windows of the studio that was still black and white but had expanded even into the building next door. I had asked Ria to inquire as to Ellie's whereabouts so that I could look her up. Ria found out she was still living but in a nursing home close, but was told that she probably wasn't of sound mind enough to know who I was. Aha, I made a mental note to spend one of my free Friday's going back to the studio, introducing myself and getting her address so I could at least pay her a visit. Even more than a year ago, I was lunching in the basement of the downtown Daytons store at the entrance of their restaurant there and I look up and she this impeccably dressed gorgeous elderly woman. She had on cream slacks, a matching long cream jacket and had the same paige boy hairstyle as Ellie used to wear. I did a double take and thought "that looks JUST like Ellie".... she walked up to the hostess as if she owned the place, the hostess recognized whoever she was and immediately seated her. I SO wanted to go see if it was her, but in the back of my mind I had remembered Ria saying her staff had said she wasn't well enough to recognize anyone so I didn't approach her. Well, as you know how life goes, that free Friday to go find out where she was never came. Quite often though, when reading the Sunday Trib I would scan the obituaries, just thinking to myself that maybe I'd at least see an obit for her if she had died. Seriously, I have done this for the 4 yrs I have been here on the rare Sundays I actually read the paper. Well today, the strangest occurence of events happened. Richard went to take a nap after his morning route, so I grabbed my coffee and the paper.... I so rarely do this anymore. I came to the obits and did my usual glance at the "M"s... and there was an obit for an Eleanor May Moore....I let out a sigh and read it. I thought I remembered that being her middle name. BUT, the obit stated she had children which I knew she didn't, so I let out another sigh of relief that it was not her and mentally committed myself to going to the studio THIS Friday to find out where she was and go visit her. Then, for some reason.... I turned to the next page...... and there it was. A huge picture of the woman I remember in 1973 as Eleanor Moore. An obituary for her under the "Q's".... Eleanor Moore Quam. She had gotten married. I stared sorta in disbelief....I turned back to the prior page..... that Eleanor Moore had died on May 15th.... I turned back to the page with her pic... this Eleanor Moore had died on May 14th! Two Eleanor Moore's in the same Sunday paper on different was one of those times of feeling sad for moments when reading then first one, then feeling relief when realizing it wasn't her, the re-commiting myself to doing something I had wanted to do for years, then within another few moments feeling REALLY sad again that yes indeed, she truly had died. And then realizing, how close I had come today to not even reading the paper and if I had not seen the first obit under the "M's" I probably for sure wouldn't have seen the second REAL one under the "Q's"..... and then realizing that God put that there so I could find some closure to this little piece of my life. So, tommorrow I shall go say goodbye to one of the best bosses I've ever had at her memorial service over in Edina. It won't be the reunion on a free Friday I had hoped for, but I shall give Miss Eleanor Moore a smile, and a thankyou for being a part of my life.... oh and by the way, for those of you that know me, I've always carried a piece of Ellie in my life. She's the one who gave me my signature gold coin ring I have worn on my right pinkie finger for the last 36 yrs!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Simple Saturdays

After toooo many weekends doing nothing but getting the house ready for sale, I decided to take the day and just some of my favorite on the deck, a bit of sunbathing, and a trip to one of my favorite places... the town of Carver. It's 4 miles west of here... a town about the size of Erhard. You head down bluffs and "the ridge" to the river bottom on a beautiful drive and there it lays...all 4 blocks of it! Every month on the 3rd weekend, the antique dealers hold their annual "occasional" sale Thursday thru Saturday. On Saturday, they hold an open air flea market in the city park with about a dozen or so vendors. The town has a post office, a gas station, a city park, a Klein Bank, 3 bars and 4 antique shops! PERFECT! Today, they had a fantastic band in the park that I could have listened to all day long. We had lunch at Harvey's the bar pictured here and my "find" of the day? The antique white park bench.... I LOVE it... and no Ria, you can't have it :-)

In Exactly 30 Days

From this to THIS in just 30 days! Now that's amazing..... Coffee on my deck this morning provided me with this lush view of our walking path in front of the neighbors...Ya gotta LOVE Saturday mornings when you don't have to work!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pink Again

So this is what I saw when I pulled in the driveway tonite... my garage full of my "stuff"...which used to either be in my yard or inside my home. Staring me right there center front were my pink tulips... so I made a decision ... and I added back in some of my pink tulips to the whiskey barrels... :-) do I feel better now? well.... ya sorta....

Who's the Mole?

Junior High kids must have the inner-track to TV previews...Lately I've been seeing this ad for ABC's new show "The Mole"....then yesterday as I was unloading my morning junior high route the several hundred kids on the sidewalk passing by were all saying "I'm the Mole"... "No, I'm the Mole"..."No, but I AM the real Mole"...and I'm thinking, didn't I just see that advertised on TV last night? How do they know all this stuff already ? ?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Want My House BACK!

It's been awhile since I've sold a home...but I had no idea how much that business has changed. I knew that "staging" was the up and coming thing, but WHOAH! what happened to MY house? Anyone who knows me, knows I like the "cozy, cluttered, lived in feel"...but my living room has now gone from overflowing to "2" chairs. My dining room has lost one hutch, two coffee chairs, and is bare to the bone except for the table. My bedroom used to have a cozy wicker seating area... it now just has the couch...but the worst was when my realtor decided she didn't like "pink" tulips in my whisky barrels ... and "Pfoof" they were gone in the wind! My home has lost every bit of character that made it what it was..... Anyway, the deep cleaning is done, paint has been touched up, projects finished, furniture stored, the photographer has been here, the sign is up and I'm exhausted.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I was surprised yesterday afternoon when I checked out the rain from the front patio and saw this fisherman right in my front yard. Looks like he had no boat, no bait, no companions, not even a campstool to rest his legs. Wonder if he caught anything! It stayed rainy all day long, but certainly has made everything lush and the buds appear on the trees. It was an even bigger surprise when I looked down on the walkout patio and there were my tulips coming up big and strong! Not in time for Mother's Day this year, but still refreshing to see new life sprouting out of the earth.