Friday, August 23, 2013

Our Ya-Ya Week 2013

I think it was New Year's Day in my living room (with a hang over) that G and I starting "talking" about our summer Ya-Ya week.

You know, that week last year when the mom's took the kid's camping to a State Park in 100 degree heat? That's Ya Ya week.

Anyway, this winter it dawned on G we might be able to use her in-laws time share points for our accommodations. This method would probably prove CHEAPER then a week at a camp ground once we factored in the daily purchase of ice and firewood. After searching on line for less then an hour, we picked the date and pulled the trigger on BREEZY POINT. Really!!! We would have never thought...

In one's year's time, our now annual "Ya-Ya" trip went from tents, blow up mattresses, cooking over a fire, and a walk to the latrine and shower, to a two bedroom town home, with a hot tub, washer and drier, and kitchen!

Basically, we had a blissful week of lazy days at the end of July on the beach, or at the pool directly outside our patio door.
We checked out the famous Breezy Point "Memories of Elvis" impersonator act from the beach by the bar Saturday on our first night on site. The kids were THRILLED with the idea they saw their first "concert".
 Gretchen hauled a paddle board all the way from St. Cloud.
 Every kid got a turn.

 There was plenty of time to jump off the docks and to float too.
We even left the resort once or twice (beyond our regular runs for a few groceries, and to restock our constantly depleted supply of beer, wine, and cheap champagne for Mimosa's).
 We tried a round of mini golf, and one night we headed to the Commander for Family Bar Bingo.
 We told Dean if you could blow your ball into the mini golf hole, it counted as a hole in one.
This is the ONLY picture we have of just the two of us. Marly took it for us.

For whatever reason, every kid got upset and cried during mini golf. Damn good thing G pulled cold beers out of her backpack (purchased at the counter inside) at hole 9 of 18.
There were Kiddy Cocktails around 5 pm most evenings for the "petite Ya-Ya's", and cocktails at ANY time in-general for the "Ya-Ya mama's". Basically, any hour is a good hour for a mimosa, or Bloody Mary, or glass of white wine.
We purchased a neat temporary tattoo kit at the "Fun Sisters" store in Pequot Lakes and everyone was covered in glitter from ankle to shoulder by mid-week.
 The daddies arrived on Thursday night and Friday morning, when we rented a pontoon for the day.
 The kids cast their reel and tried their hand at fishing.
 Marly even caught one.
 Can you hear the Little Big Town country song, "On the PONTOON" playing right now?
 Our petite Ya Ya's loving their time.
 Our 2013  group photo as the sun began to descend on our last day.
Where to next year?????

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Marlys

This is me. I look like my mom. I have for a long time.... As long as I can remember. I know I still look like her because when I go home and encounter women my mom's age who I do not recognize or know, they STILL come up to me and tell me I look like my mom. My mom always wore glasses. I only wear glasses to drive. I recently got new glasses. I think they look like the ones my mom was wearing in her H.S. graduation picture.
My mom liked a good fire - A LOT. It was even mentioned in the eulogy at her funeral. Once, a long, long time ago, when I was little she was burning garbage in our "hole" on the farm. The fire got out of hand. We were on the verge of needing the fire department, and the huge machine shed was in danger of going up in flames. Before she HAD to call my dad for help, I think she might have told us kids, "Don't tell your father!" (As if he wouldn't have noticed the charred grass.)
I like a good fire too, but I live in the suburbs. You aren't suppose to have rip roaring fires in Suburbia. Last week, our neighbor kindly helped us cut down two large, overgrown arborvitaes in front of our house. This "ignited" my mom in me. FIRE was a must for clean up.
My mom liked a little gas to "fuel" the fire. Last week, when I started my fire, we were out of lighter fluid, but we did have GAS. My mom had access to an entire barrel of gas on the farm. Our lawn mower jug was plenty to meet my needs. I tucked the gas can behind the yard waste bin, so Mark wouldn't notice it (not so unlike my mom urging us NOT to tell Dad about her huge fires).
I channelled Marlys, and made a fine fire to kick start the branch consumption. The kids loved it! They were channeling a little Marlys too. The fire was yet another grand opportunity (teaching moment) to share about their Grandma Marlys.
Then last night my Aunt Toots's Facebook post reminded me August 19th was my mom's birthday. I had completely forgotten. I read the status update on my I-Phone as I was leaving an evening work event. I knew I wanted a glass of Boone's Farm to commemorate her 60 something-est birthday when I got home. My mom drank Boone's Farm from time to time. It was served at Toren family holiday's. Growing up, I thought Boone's Farm was actually wine. I thought all wine had a screw top.

I typically have TWO bottles of Boone's Farm in my home at basically ALL times. I rarely drink ANY Boone's Farm.
  • One bottle is about 14 years old. The bottle was in our house when my mom died. I think it was open when she died, or Brett and I may have opened it later. When my Dad sold our house in the country year's later, I moved the bottle to my town home in Blaine. When we moved from the town home, the bottle came to Riverview Lane. Today the "Marlys Melberg Commemorative Boone's Farm Bottle" lives on the bottom shelf of my fridge door. It is NOT for consumption. We might die of formaldehyde poisoning or something. 

  • I keep one additional/un-opened bottle of Strawberry Hill on hand in case the mood strikes me (like last night for my mom's birthday). When I bought this more recent/drinkable bottle, it cost me $3.29.

"Drinkable" is a questionable term. I cracked open my "just in case" Boone's Farm bottle last night. It has been a LOONNNNNNGGGG time since I sipped Boone's. It is not so good.....Really.....It is pretty bad!

Then I "channelled" Marlys. I let Marly have a sip. Heck, I might have encouraged her a bit. My mom always let me have "sips" of her wine when I was little. This was acceptable in the 70's and 80's. (Don't judge. Smoking when you were pregnant was also acceptable.)

Marly didn't like it. She took another tiny sip anyway, swallowed, spit, then asked for a drink of water. I think I liked it as a kid.  Okay...I know I liked it when I was little. I remember "pass the bottle" at Margene's at Christmas.

Next I called my brother Brett. But first I texted him to remind him it was mom's birthday. In the text, I suggested he mix himself a gin and tonic (my mom's occasional mixed drink of choice) to commemorate her birthday at his house. When we spoke, his cocktail was in hand. He suggested I have a gin and tonic too, and THEN drink the Boone's Farm. It might taste better!

Happy Birthday Mom.
You were the best.

I will forever hope that I "channel" your kindness; your generosity; your giving nature to neighbors, friends and family; your fun-ness; your desire to help others without judging; your strong love and devotion to family; your unassuming affection for your children's (Brett and my) friends at all ages; and your good-natured, go-with-the flow, joyful and easy zest for life.

I will forgo giving haircuts in the kitchen (except for my nephew's first cuts, and the occasional trim for my own kids.)

Your Daughter, Andrea

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Elna the Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy made a visit to our house last week. While my cousin Taylor was helping to "nanny" the kids on Wednesday, Dean finally lost his first tooth. This is good, since his permanent tooth had already come up behind his baby tooth, and he had a dental  appointment scheduled for this week to have it pulled!
This was the the FIRST visit ever for the Tooth Fairy to the Thomberg House!

Growing up, my Dad told my Cousin's Dee and Kris (on my Mom's side) that the Tooth Fairy was actually my (step) Grandma Elna (on my Dad's side). As the story goes, Dee and Kris believed him. Elna was a grandmother-ly, kind, white-haired lady, who had the once-a-week "set" in her hair. Dee and Kris always saw her at church. Her persona lends itself well to the idea of the tooth fairy.
And so I joked on Face Book that "Elna the Tooth Fairy" was stopping at the bank on her way home from work. "Elna the Tooth Fairy" picked up ten $1 dollar gold coins at Wells Fargo.
Dean labeled his tooth-filled zip lock bag for the Tooth Fairy, and put it under his pillow. Dean worried the Tooth Fairy would not be able to get to his tooth if he put his head on his pillow.

Marly just plain WORRIED. As I tucked them in, she was suddenly TERRIFIED of the idea of a FAIRY in their room.** She actually refused to go to sleep in their room, and fell asleep in our bed first. 

As I carried the sleeping Miss Marly back to her own bed, I also carried out my "official duties" as "Elna the Tooth Fairy"! The Tooth Fairy left Dean 5 gold coins in a little golden gossamer tie bag.

The Tooth Fairy is saving the other 5 gold coins for the OTHER child's first tooth (or one coin for each of Dean's future lost teeth).

**((READER'S NOTE - Dean and Marly still PREFER to sleep together in the double bed in the upstairs guest room next to ours, instead of their own separate bedrooms downstairs))

Friday, August 16, 2013

Summer 2013

Between our Family Vacation to Lutsen, Gretchen and my Ya-Ya summer trip to Breezy Point this July with the kids, and time back home by Hector, the Thomberg's are also AROUND TOWN!

Care for the kids this summer has been a hodge podge piece meal for sure. The kids attended YMCA camp with Lily the Neighbor girl T, W, Th, and spent time with Papa on Friday.
After work, Marly was signed up for Soccer with the Champlin-Dayton Athletic Association. Marly is the little one in the middle. She liked it well enough.
 Dean wrapped up Little League Baseball in June, continues with karate, and became Marly's team "Spirit" #1 Fan. Dean is the ONLY fan who kept score....
 There are flowers to tend and weeds to pull...
 ...and a lawn Mark LOVES to mow!
 We headed to DQ on August 8th....
 ...for Miracle Treat Day and Blizzards.

Because this was once a fundraising baby of mine, but ALWAYS a cause dear to my heart.

In the mean time, the kids wrapped up Y Camp in July. Marly actually HATED it. Lily the Neighbor disliked it. Dean didn't care. For these last few weeks before school, Lily the Neighbor's mom and I have coordinated a little of this, a little of that, and we are making a  GO OF IT!

Hope you have all had a good summer - in town, out of town, WHATEVER!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Corn Chaff Days

I like going home to my small town days in Hector - Corn Chaff Days.
This July I convinced Mark to join me.
 At the parade....
 ...where they throw enough candy to rival the Halloween loot.
 Charlie Melberg in one of the 6 restored tractors he brought to the parade. I understand there are more than 6 in his sheds.
 It started to rain at the parade, but we found shelter under the giant tree's in Michelle and Chad's yard. My cousin Matt and his kids are in the vehicle above. Shylah Melberg his snapping the photo of her hubby. In the long history of Hector Days, NO ONE can remember it EVER raining.
After the parade,  we headed to the park for Lionesse fry bread, Lion's pork sandwiches, and First Lutheran Church Pie, along with time to visit, mix and mingle. Then someone had to get the 6 restored tractors back to Melberg Farms. My city hubby Mark made two trips and drove two home. First a red one.
Then a green one.
Melberg's prefer green.
Green suits us better!
I love Hector Days. The reason I love it is the connection to family, and a connection to the place that represents my family, life, history and even the future.

  • I love Hector Days because I love spending time with my cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as running into old neighbors, friends and classmates
  • I love catching up and I love hanging out. 
  • I love my kids catching candy at the same parade I caught candy. 
  • I love Marly and Dean running around outside with Sutton, Saxton, and Sawyer (Better known as "The 3 S's" at our house). I love Marly and Dean playing with farm cats. 
  • I love my cousin Mariah babysitting the whole lot so Matt, Shylah, Mark and I can go into the band in town. I love hanging out and talking into the wee hours of the night and laughing and laughing at Michelle and Chads.

Family is good. Home is good.
We don't need to make it to Corn Chaff days every year, but it remains and easy excuse to just "be" with family.

Thank you Matt & Shylah for hosting us.
Thank you Mariah for babysitting.
Thank you Michelle and Chad for chauffeuring us and outfitting us in your yard for the parade!


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