Saturday, October 31, 2009

Heat's Back!

As of a few minutes ago, the furnace is up and running again. I understand that a filter was too dirty - well, it's been a hectic summer and fall. I'm just glad it's working again.

No Heat from the Furnace

Yesterday evening we noticed that the furnace fan was working, but no heat was coming out. My wife called the service company, and I trust that someone will be coming out this morning to take a look. And, I hope, fix the thing.

It's a bit frustrating. We had that furnace checked out before the heating season started, and it was okay then.

At least this happened before it got too cold out. It's right around the freezing point outside, and a comparatively balmy 63° here at the computer.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rain, Snow, and October's Bright Blue Weather

It's been raining for days.

Now it's snowing.

No wonder I'm feeling the way I have been.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So Much For Relaxing

Ha! That "relaxing for the rest of the evening" turned into a post about Halloween rants. ("Halloween's Coming: Why aren't I Ranting?" (A Catholic Citizen in America (October 29, 2009)).

What can I say? I noticed that part of my mind was starting on a topical post, and decided to give more attention to the project.


It rained yesterday.

It rained today.

Looks like it'll rain tomorrow.

That's what "October's bright blue weather" is, fairly often, here in central Minnesota. The weather isn't helping me feel perky - and I think I've got something in the neighborhood of a cold. NotH1N1 - not that I've had tests taken, but it's acting like a cold.

Aside from that, things are going pretty well. I'm getting back on track with my daily schedule, most of the family is at Soo Bahk Do class right now, and I'm looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"October's Bright Blue Weather" - Ha!

Another day: I took the van out, mostly to see why the heater wasn't running properly. It was, when I tried it. While I was out, I took a picture of downtown for today's Sauk Centre Journal entry. We've had drizzle struggling to be rain most of the day.

Which may explain why I feel as listless as I do.

Oh, well.

#1 daughter's rabbit got his foot medication again this evening - under protest. As soon as I post this, I'll prepare an apple core for him. And, some time after that read Garfield with my son.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

(Some) Blue Sky, Sunshine, Wind and Windows 7

My son is still enthralled by Windows 7 - although not as excitedly as yesterday.

I took a few minutes off this afternoon to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I'd have been out longer, but it was also windy - and I had work to do.

The family had my father-in-law over for supper, I fed #1 daughter's rabbit a celery stick later in the evening, and Giol the rabbit has gotten his foot medication applied.

It's a good life.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Windows 7: My Son Installed it Today

My son's 'Windows 7' package arrived today. He met the mailman on his way to the door.

Excited? You could say that. My son made a videotape of his opening of the package - complete with narration.

By now, 6:40 p.m., he's gotten it installed on his laptop - with only one glitch that I know of. A font he'd designed didn't get backed up. On the upside, he knows how he created it, and has some of the source files - but he'll have to re-build it if he wants to use it again.

Still, for an upgrade like that: he's had a very smooth time.

It helped that he's been doing backups and other prep for maybe a week now.

Did I mention that he's excited?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Evening: A Rabbit, Medication, Routines and Rain

My wife and son are getting medicine on Giol's foot as I start writing this. It's a daily ritual we'll continue until the prescribed treatment's over.

Giol - #1 daughter's rabbit - does not like the treatment, but handles it rather well (aside from covering an eye with his paw). until the medicine touched the sore spot. Then he kicked - vigorously.

Now he's getting a treat - somewhat in the manner of a child at the dentist's.

Soon, my son and I will be reading Garfield and singing that song.

It's been a gray, rainy day here in Sauk Centre: I went out this afternoon to take some photos for a Sauk Centre Journal entry.

Aside from that, and the usual research and writing, it's been a fairly normal day. Except that I slept until almost noon. I sincerely hope I'm not coming down with something.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple Cores, Linoleum, and a Rabbit

Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, seems to be feeling better. We (my wife and son) have been applying his medication (he's got a sore foot) nightly. Under protest, but it gets on him anyway.

I had two apple cores ready for him: one quite fresh. As I got up to give him the first (and freshest) one, he started running towards me, in the kitchen. His leash is attached to a chair leg, to keep him out of (too much) trouble. When he got to the end of his tether, he kept running on the linoleum - but of course made no headway.

He did drift slightly eastward, though.

Giol's gotten quite good at hopping on his rear feet and balancing, to get vegetable treats from us. Either that, or he has us well trained.

H1N1 Virus in Minnesota People: Including the Family

I just now learned that one of my nieces has H1N1 / swine flu. She's resting, getting medication, and all that - happily, she seems to be able to get her studies done outside the classroom.

Not good news, but it could be worse.

October's Dull Gray Weather; Winter Preparations; and a Fine Son

I like my daughters, too: but you'll see why I put a spotlight on my son in the headline, later.

"October's bright blue weather" is gone, again: replaced with shifting patterns of gray on gray overhead. Hardly surprising: Minnesota's weather is notoriously varied. The forecast for Friday's changed, too. Now we're supposed to expect sunshine and clouds - just like Thursday's forecast shifted from a promise of overcast and rain to "partly cloudy."

This household's getting ready for winter. My wife and kids lifted the air conditioner out of the window where it spend the summer. It's resting on the floor behind my chair at the moment. That was, if memory serves, yesterday.

My wife also put up the curtains we have at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second floor, and between the sort of micro-hall at the bottom of the stairs and the living room. They help control drafts, and let us keep the ground floor at comfortable temperatures, while letting the second floor run a bit cooler.

I was going to accomplish things today, including getting to the Harvest Graces Mass this morning.

You May Not Want to Read This Part

Then, as I was getting ready to take that Knights of Columbus bulletin to the post office, I didn't quite get to the bathroom in time. By the time my son noticed the smell, I'd cleaned the worst of it off the floor, and washed myself in the shower - and giving the clothes I'd been wearing a first-rinse while I was there.

Disgusting. Rather.

That's My Boy!

Then my wife called. She'd come back, with #3 daughter, from driving my father-in-law to Alex for a medical procedure. The operation went well, I'm told. I also learned that she wanted me to pick her up.

No problem. I'd stay in the van, the ladies would come out, and then would carry the bulletin and paperwork into the post office building.

By the time I was walking toward the garage, I saw my son with a bucket of soapy water, heading for the bathroom. Unbidden, without prompting, and quite on his own, he'd decided to clean up what was left of the mess.

"That's my boy!"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday: October's Bright Blue Weather; a Mouse Trap; and Duct Tape

I've wrapped up as much of the paperwork for a local Knights of Columbus bulletin's mailing that I'll get done tonight. I expect to get it in the mail tomorrow.

By which time it'll probably be raining.

October provided some of its 'bright blue weather' today. The skies weren't perfectly clear, but at least there was blue around the clouds. I got out for part of the afternoon, took photos for this Wednesday's Sauk Centre Journal, and had two cups of coffee at Jitters Java, downtown.

All in all, it's been a pretty good day.

We've set out mouse traps of the 'live trap' variety. So far, the mouse has shown a talent for springing them without going inside. We'll be looking for another kind of trap.

Now, about that duct tape.

As I was walking through the kitchen, my wife told me to stop.

Over a quarter century of marriage may not have taught me much, but I have learned that when my wife generally asks me to do things. When she tells me to do something, she's got a really good reason - and I'll agree, once I understand what it is.

So I stopped.

She told to turn, pointing toward the table.

So I turned, noticing that she'd gotten out a roll of duct tape.

My wife then pressed the end of the duct tape to the table at my right, walked behind me, pressed the duct tape to the table to my left, and tore the roll off from the loop she'd made.

Then, when she had me duct-taped to the table, she told me that I couldn't leave until I'd written a note to someone I'd been supposed to write - but had kept forgetting to do.

So I wrote the note.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Catching Up, a Mouse, and Looking Forward to the Weekend

I'm still getting caught up with my work, but since I'm my own boss there hasn't been too much trouble explaining the situation to myself.

On a less schizophrenic note, #3 daughter spotted a mouse (we think) skittering across the living room floor. I think it was as spooked as she was. We'll be dealing with that situation in the morning. It's that time of year, when critters start finding their way inside. Earlier this week, I found a boxelder bug in the bathroom. They're not near the top of my list of cute-and-cuddly creatures. It's the way those blood-red eyes glow, when the light's at a certain angle, I think.

Right now, I'm wrapping up the day's tasks - and looking forward to grilling lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Working With My Son-in-Law, Catching Up on Writing, and - Good Grief! Half an Hour to Finish Another Task!

Earlier this evening, I spent a moderately-productive hour with my son-in-law, trying to work around a software purchase issue he had. His part of the Red River Valley of the North is getting snow, and his Internet connection is down. We think he'll be up and running - when he can get back online.

I don't mind spending the time: it was worth a try, and I learned a bit in the process. And, my son and I will catch up on reading Garfield tomorrow, I trust.

I've been catching up on one of my blogs (Apathetic Lemming of the North): not caught up, but making progress. At this I'll be up to quota by the end of the weekend.

The local Knights of Columbus bulletin needs a 'special issue' (actually, the November issue, mailed about two weeks early) - which will keep me occupied Friday, at least.

Apart from that, I've got a mess of photos I took while we were in northern Illinois to sort through.

And, I realize, about a half hour left to do today's entry of the Sauk Centre Journal.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Being Home is Good

I'm back.

I buried the other half of my father and mother Friday, in the Hulse cemetery near Pecatonica, Illinois. And, had a brief but good get-together with family.

Saturday and Sunday, various portions of the family saw Chicago's Adler Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. I was at the planetarium and aquarium - and hope to write something about them. Not tonight.

We flew back today, arriving only a few hours late. Airlines flying into Minneapolis International were delayed from snow in the morning, and were playing catch-up for the rest of the day.

But, journeys come to an end: and this one saw us back here in Sauk Centre, about twenty, twenty-five minutes ago.

#2 daughter & my new son-in-law decided to head on to their home in the Red River Valley of the North. He's got a video shoot to do, tomorrow afternoon, and I understand the reasons for their wanting to spend the night (what's left of it) in their own home.

I've gotten a webcam back online, and hope I can turn in soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

That's It: I'm Giving Myself a Vacation.

I've mentioned this before: September was an unusually, ah, interesting month. No complaints - but I'm bushed.

I plan to take the weekend and Monday off: which means no Sauk Centre Journal entry on Sunday, and no posts on Apathetic Lemming of the North Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. I plan to be 'back to work' Tuesday - with some serious catch-up to do on the 'Lemming' blog.

One of my son's friends has H1N1 flu, which brought that situation much closer to home. It's going to be a long flu season, I'm afraid: subjectively if not objectively.

It's late. Or, more accurately, it's early. Goodnight!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Hit With Unusual Severity This Week

I'm wrapping up the day - and may leave a task or two undone, in the interests of getting a reasonable night's sleep.

I was up ridiculously late last night, again, but got that Knights of Columbus council bulletin to the printer's this morning. They got it printed & delivered this afternoon. (Main Street Printers, downtown Sauk Centre - I've worked with them for over 20 years on one project or another - they're a good bunch for getting the job done.)

My wife and #3 daughter put labels on the bulletins, so I'll be able to do the mailing paperwork tomorrow.

It's been raining, off and on, all day - and the streets are still wet. Again, I don't mind. It does set a sort of mood for the day, though.

Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, had his 'people' time in the kitchen again this evening. Aside from being around us and a little light socializing - talking to him, rubbing his head, that sort of thing - I fed him a couple apple cores and a few broccoli heads.

That rabbit gets along pretty well, I'd say. He's gotten quite good at hopping on his find feet - his balance on two feet has improved enormously since he arrived. Since we give him his treats by holding them where he needs to 'stand up' to reach them, he's had a pretty good incentive to learn.

My son and I read Garfield and sang this evening, as usual.

I love this family.

Two Double Funerals: Efficient, Appropriate, and a Trifle Intense

In a few minutes, I hope to be talking to a couple of newspapers in northern Illinois, where my father's and mother's cremains ("cremated remains") will be interred - God willing - later this week.

For a number of good reasons, I've got the responsibility of deciding just what sort of obituary my parents will have. Happily, most of the work's already done. I've posted my father's obit. earlier, and decided to go with what appeared in a North Dakota paper, for my mother's. Here's hers:

Dorothy Gill

Dorothy passed away on Saturday, February 23, 2008 at the Hillsboro Medical Center Nursing Home at the age of 94.

Dorothy Marie Hovde was born on May 14, 1913, the daughter of Ole and Gunda (Olson) Hovde. She grew up on the family homestead just west of Hillsboro. She received her education from Hillsboro High School in 1930. She then furthered her education at the University of Minnesota where she majored in English and minored in Music. Dorothy also earned a graduate music degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. In the 1930s and 1940s she taught piano and violin in the Grand Forks area as a member of the Northwest Music Academy. She then earned graduate library service degrees from the University of Illinois. She worked in the Coe College (Cedar Rapids, IA) library.

While at the University of Illinois she met her future husband, Bernard Gill. They were united in marriage in August of 1949 in Hillsboro, ND. They moved to Moorhead, Minnesota in 1950 where they lived until 1983. Dorothy was very active in her church where she taught Sunday school and was also active in the American Association of University Women. Upon Bernard's retirement, they moved to Dorothy's family farm west of Hillsboro, ND.

Dorothy, is survived by her husband, Bernard of Hillsboro; her son, Brian (Catherine) Gill of Sauk Centre, MN; and her grandchildren, Naomi, Sara, Deborah and Peter Gill.

Apart from the spelling of a name, and a bit of punctuation, that's from the Grand Forks Herald, Sunday, March 2, 2008. The rest of the obituary - a few lines - read: "A memorial service will be held at a later date" and that arrangements were done by the Wildeman Funeral Home in Hillsboro.

That "later date" turned out to be a year later, which I think was appropriate, under the circumstances. Both my mother and father's bodies were cremated, their ashes (more like cinders, actually) commingled, and put in two urns.

Last week, we interred one urn in the soil of a cemetery near Hillsboro, North Dakota. This week, I'll be seeing to the interment of the other urn in northern Illinois.

Two double funerals about a week apart is a fairly intense experience, I've discovered. I teared up, getting these last few paragraphs written.

Hats off, by the way, to everyone I dealt with at the Wildeman Funeral Home, in Hillsboro: I deeply appreciate the way they handled this rather protracted set of procedures. And, to my father: for setting nearly all of this up with them.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I had a hard time getting to sleep Thursday and Friday night: up until around 4:30 and 5:00. I'm not some forty-year-old kid any more, and I'm not at all sure how long I could keep that up.

Nor to I intend to find out.

The only item I've got left on today's task list is writing this post - after which I'll be turning in.

The fact of my father's death is rather central in my mind just now. Understandably, I suppose. I'm 'between funerals' at the moment: there's a second one next week, in northern Illinois, where my father grew up.

I've said, often enough, that he's a hard act to follow. In the old days, I'd now be "the Gill" in this part of the world - the oldest adult man in my line in the general area. Times have changed, but I'm still the father of this family - even though I didn't go to my father often for counsel, it was good to know that I could.

Now, all I have to work with are my own memories and whatever wisdom I've scraped together over the years.

One thing about my father that I may never surpass is his ability to talk with people. I don't know if it's a product of the thirty-year head start he has on me, or if there's something about him that didn't show up in me.

Oh, well.

On a more mundane and immediate level, I grilled three burgers today, fed Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, an apple core, and have now caught up with my task list.

Good night.
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