Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Parting Shots from our Vacation

This is our Godsister, Marion with her Grandchild, Tim. Marion is the bird lady of Amsterdam.
This picture was taken right NEXT to a window with a "practicing" lady of the evening. It is frowned upon to take pictures of these ladies, but this hallway located nearby was good enough.

Now you can say "Mustard" in several languages!

Beautiful Beautiful

"i amsterdam" is the Theme of the City. Here's Anna posing by her "A"
The architecture is so interesting. Very skinny houses, very close together.
We took a canal cruise which was fascinating. The boats on the side are permanently docked and people live in them as well.

The Brown family (minus one, plus one) demonstrates that even though Raindrops kept falling on our head, we still were smiling!

Family Shots

Despite the rain, we truly enjoyed just being together. The four of us (N, D, Dennis and Marion) spent a great hour talking under this cozy umbrella. Anna toured the Museum of Diamonds. No, she didn't get any souveniors! Man, he's got Big...Feet !

Dinner, in the cold and rain, at a wonderful sidewalk cafe.

I saw an older couple trying to get a photograph with one of them in it and as I often do on vacation, I offered to take their photo if they took ours. They wanted nothing to do with giving me their camera, but the lady graciously offered to take ours. Don't we look relaxed?

The weather was not good, unless you're a duck (cold and rainy). But we carried on and had a great time.

And still more vacation photos

Tacky, yes. Fun...definately. Leave it to the Italians to capture the moment.Flooven,a harbor town. Just like Hans Christian Andersen described it.

Marken: Swans, Weeping Willows, and a sense of peace.
And as long as we're featuring stereotypical tourist shots, this one is for my son!

We got to see Holland for the first time! It is a magnificent country. AND I learned the difference between Holland and The Netherlands (correct me if I am wrong, JC). Holland is a specific territory within the Netherlands. Amsterdam is located in this area. The Netherlands is the name for the entire country. Whatever it's called, we loved it.

More Vacation Shots

How would you like your french fries? Here's a list of ways to eat them by country. Maybe you could try something new today...
We enjoyed going into the Fun House. Who says Old People can't have fun (ah, Marion would like you to know that SHE is NOT Old)

These are HUGE cookies, made with special messages. I know the one on the left says "I Love You". Google German translations for the rest.

I LOVE Fairs! And what a treat to attend the Aachen Fair with Marion, our German Godsister. It made up for missing the MN State Fair (again).But I must admit, the beer in Germany was MUCH better!

And now I'll bore you with my vacation photos

Inside the Cathedral in Maastricht, Netherlands Canal view of Maastricht

The Cathedral in Aachen, Germany

Okay so this isn't Europe, but it was taken on the last morning before we left Lake Lida.

We enjoyed a week with our German family; relaxing in Aachen, travelling to Amsterdam, having Dennis meet up with us (how cool is it that he just flew over from Dublin for the day?!) Here are a series of snapshots that don't even begin to tell the great time we had.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lovin Amsterdam

Over 200 pictures later and I'm just loving this place! I aquired a new telephoto lens (thanks to our German Godsister) and so I'm the snappyhappy tourist. Unfortunately I'm not the techno savvy tourist so you'll have to go to Google and see your own images.
We're safe, happy and off to explore more!
Weather is awful (rain)
Wish you were here!
Love, Nadine

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Touchdown in da Mother country

bicycles parked at train station maastricht holland
Enroute to the desert this year, we took a week long detour and travelled to Germany and The Netherlands.
This is Maastricht Holland where we enjoyed spending the day on Tuesday. This is the hometown of our German Godsister (she admonished me for calling her my Godmother on facebook!) She lives in Aachen Germany where I tried to copy a photo of but was unsuccessful (maybe I need another cup of good strong German coffee!)
Today we are off to Amsterdam, which will be a new site for David and I. Anna will join us as she has been in the north of Germany visiting friends from AIS.
Thursday we will reunite with our beloved German son, DS, who is the son of our Godsister. He lived with us in 1998.
We are truly blessed to have these connections world-wide.
As soon as I return to Kuwait and I can get my camera loaded, I will post pics for all of you dear friends who tell me you live vicariously through me...I will gladly host your next trip to Aachen!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What I Will Miss Most...Part Two

As I start to say good bye to Family, friends and Minnesota for another 9 months, here are a couple photos of what I'll be missing in the Desert.

I was really blessed this summer to see most of my family members. Here's a get together in Mpls with my Aunti E and her family, along with nephew J and Neice D.
My youngest great-neice, S, demonstrates her version of flying.

GREAT Aunti NWB and her GREAT neices S and A.

My Son and his wife are very happy, which of course makes me happy.

What I Will Miss Most..Part 1

**Smart conversations at the World's Best Coffeehouse: Riverside Coffee
** "Pelican Rapids sure can make you feel at Home". (Theme song from an advertisement about PR)
Here we are at the World's Largest Pelican: 15 feet, 6 inches
Life on Lake Lida. I've said it before, but I'll say it again...It Just Doesn't Get Any Better than This!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kuwait: The class of 1990

I don't expect you to watch all of this but it's a great story of what happened in the country that we call "home" for nine months. Watch a little bit of it to learn about what horrors can happen in a country when someone declares "WAR".

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Famdamily 2010

Applause to the FABULOUS JENNIFER who made us smile and seem natural.

Friday, August 13, 2010


These fine young people make me smile when I'm in MN. They are Anna's BFs when she comes to MN *Sorry Mag, wish you could have been here too! They are all bright, clever, good, true friends, great human beings. The world will be a good place if they are in charge! Here's to RL, ALB, EO and GL --the future is YOURS!
This is GL, her oldest friend. I am glad they are friends, they get along really well and they make each other laugh. They also bicker at each other like an old married couple. I have a couple close male friends and I know they make my life a lot better. I'm glad that ALB has GTL in her life. Besides, he's the only person who's ever complimented me on my cooking so I've got to keep him around!

6 Days and 18 Hours

Angel participating in her favorite activity, chasing sticks off the dock! I will miss this daily activity as well as life in general on Lake Lida.

This is all the time we've got left in MN for Summer '10. Holy cow, it went so fast!! Just "yesterday" we were landing at the Fargo Airport being greeted by Bro PSL and son P, and now we're starting to pack.

Packing to return to the desert is filled with challenges. Well, not challenges in the "what will I need" category, but more challenges in the "how much can I really stuff into this suitcase" area. Kuwait isn't filled with cotton clothing so I try and stock up while I am here. Also there's those little personal items that I think I can't live without for 10 months. And of course books...and more books. Yes I know, "kindle" would be the answer but I still like curling up with a book.

Today we had Anna's senior pictures taken by the FABULOUS Jennifer of Herman, MN. Jennifer is the granddaughter of my second parents MomLaVaun and Daddy Roger (RIP) and her Uncle "ugly" is as close to me as a brother. Just to make this circle even tighter, her mother in law was my first piano teacher back in the day. I am so pleased with what I've seen on the proofs and can't wait to see them tomorrow.

So the check list for this week (in addition to packing) includes: getting Anna's hair dyed blonde (she's going to "go for it" as we've spent two years in the desert now and she thinks she can handle any sort of "harum" that would come her way);making one last flying trip to Minneapolis to say goodbye to family and friends; seeing friends here in the great Lake Country; coffee one more time with my Tuesday Morning support group; seeing our daughter in law (we've only seen her once this summer due to her work schedule); saying goodbye to my Angel dog who has a fabulous life at KKO's house; and of course, double checking the flight schedules, getting money straightened out for the year, etc etc etc. The time will fly.

As I write this, David is out sailing on Lake Lida enjoying the wind in his hair (which has grown quite long over the summer). I am going to hang out another load of laundry (hey, a girl's gotta have fun somehow right?) and later tonight we'll have a small campfire. Anna is off with her friends trying to cram in as much fun as possible. Angel will be anxiously watching the suitcases as she knows that when they come out, it's time for her life to change again.

Returning to the Litter Box (thanks SH for that slang!) for year three won't be so bad. We know what to expect in our jobs and in our personal lives. We will have some new challenges being there without a few select close friends, but there are still some very important people who help make our time away from our hearthome (Pelican Rapids) bearable and enjoyable.

As the sign in Pelican Drugstore says, "Life IS Good".

Scenes from an (ab) Normal Family

Me and my Angel Dog.

My two sons...Ben (by birth) and Phil. They are both employed at the local k Mart. I didn't get any blue light specials when I visited them at work recently.

On the deck of the cabin...finally, all my "peeps" in one place, if only for a brief moment.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scenes from a Family Gathering

This is what a finished piece of lefse looks like...although most don't have a peek-a-boo window. But my sister has always been a creative thinker so she has a special piece. It tastes the same!
My neice Benna is a terrific Grandma! She's got six granddaughters including TWO sets of twin girls. It was so much fun to see them the other night. Me and my seestah, M, who resides in Alaska, (on the same lake as Ms Sara Palin). I LOVED every minute I spent with M this week. She's my hero!! Betcha no one would even guess that she's 21 years older than me!

Lefse Lalapallooza

Monday I had the great pleasure of sitting at "the feet of the Master", my Uncle PT, who taught us how to make Lefse (Definition for those of you reading who don't know what this is:Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. Tjukklefse or tykklefse (thick lefse) is thicker and often served with coffee as a cake. Lefse is made out of potato, milk or cream (or sometimes lard) and flour, and cooked on a griddle.)
We enjoyed learning how to roll, fold, fry and of course EAT! Sister EMA and Cuz even invented a new family tradition, the Lefse Shuffle!

Here's the smiling crew!!
It was indeed a "Happy Day". Special Thanks to my favorite Thompson Cuz, VJ, who made the event happen.

Families Are Forever

Here are the children of Howard and Esther Wagner along with a few grandchildren after a wonderful dinner (thanks Bro) on Monday evening. My siblings are considerably older than I am so I have enjoyed getting to know them when I became Old Enough not to be "the Brat". We don't get the chance to gather often so this was a special evening.
From Left to Right: Oldest sister EMA, Neice "Benna", her granddaughter one of the lady bugs (they are twins and I can never get the names straight), my brother VHW, yours truly (we were squirrelly enough to climb the fence), next to me is another lady bug, great neice Sonimae, favorite sister in law LMW, my sister CK and her daughter Nae.

Meanwhile back in Kuwait...

KUWAIT CITY: Police arrested a Kuwaiti youth and his compatriot girlfriend for consuming alcohol and behaving indecently while swimming opposite Al-Sha’ab Al-Bahari, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.
Police rushed to the site after receiving information that a girl and her boyfriend were kissing while swimming together. The girl was reportedly wearing a bikini and police smelt alcohol in their breath.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Laugh of the Day

Thanks for MK for making me smile after a long weekend of Garage Sale-ing at the Charlie Brown home in Wadena (ps we did well but no pictures because I was too busy moving merchandize). This one is dedicated to my sister, who reads...alot! Welcome Home EMA!

Never Argue With a Woman
One morning, the husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book. The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?" "Reading a book," she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that obvious?')
"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.
"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.."
"Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman..
"But I haven't even touched you," says the Game Warden.
"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."
"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

Through Anna's Eyes

Scenes from Lake Lida through the eyes of Anna, who was bored one day and took our camera for a walk.This is the dandy MGB that we get to drive in the Summer. Papa Charlie wants to sell it, but no one else does.
Anna says she waited and waited and waited to get the butterfly in the right bottom corner. Such patience.

I just love this one!