Grey-Haired Coed

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Don Knotts, 1924-2006...

Monday, February 27, 2006

A Senior Moment...

I was in town this morning, visited my friend's classroom to work with her students on my project for class. Fun time!
On the way home I had a marvelous idea for a blog posting... humorous, informative, interesting... even thought of links to use to clarify and illustrate said post... I remember thinking 'This is a direction future postings could take!'
I got home, had lunch, took a nap, did some laundry, and now I've totally forgotten what that 'wonderful posting' was going to be about...

Sunday, February 26, 2006


What was I doing 10 years ago?

Teaching at WHA and loving it.

What was I doing a year ago?

Trying to audit two classes at BSU -- got pneumonia over and over again.... blah!!!

5 snacks I enjoy-

Chocolate, any form
Kemps chocolate caramel brownie frozen yogurt, yes, it's THAT GOOD!
Corn nuts, even though I've broken two fillings chewing them...
Carrot sticks
Sweet red peppers (yes, really!)

5 songs I know all the words to-(Only 5?)

What a Friend We Have in Jesus
How Great Thou Art
Silent Night (in English and German)
Moon River
Actually about a hundred children's songs....

5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire

Pay off our mortgage and car loans
Pay off son's student loans
Buy two NEW cars
Get another sewing machine
Buy a plasma TV or maybe two!
Hire a full-time gardener

5 Bad Habits

Eating too much
Not exercising enough
Expecting others to do better
Complaining about my aches and pains

5 Things I Enjoy Doing

Watching TV - mysteries, Turner Classic Movies

5 Things I Would Not Wear Again

Cowboy boots
Bell bottom pants

5 Favorite Toys

My sewing machine
My computer
My Bose Wave radio
Anacrostic word puzzles
Can you count dogs? I love to play with my dog!

I don't know who else to tag, so go for it!


Tah Da! Tried something new...downloaded this picture directly from my camera. Usually I use Photoshop to download, crop, etc. then download. Cool! The only 'down' side is I don't see what the picture is until I actually insert it into the post.
Well, that's more than you wanted to know, right?

If I Were a Classic Movie...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Snow and More Snow...

Yesterday was something else! We received about 12 inches of new snow.... Didn't think it would ever quit! Thank heavens we have a snowblower attachment on our riding mower! My husband cleared the driveway while our son did the deck and around the woodpile with a shovel. They said the snow was very light and fluffy, so it was easy to move.

They had to make a trip into Walker in the morning, and said it was an interesting drive, to say the least! Thank heavens for 4 wheel drive!

I keep wondering if spring will ever come. Think I need to take Froyd's advice and get some Vitamin D capsules...

Friday, February 24, 2006


I've been traveling through Cass Lake on my way to BSU at least twice a week for four years now. There is a house just south of Teal's Super Value store that has caught my attention. In warm weather, the outside of the screen porch is covered with large, colorful 'God's Eyes' along with a sign announcing "Art Sale". There is a young Native American man who sits in a lawn chair by the art work smoking cigarettes and scanning the passing traffic for potential customers.
However, in winter, whenever there has been some snowfall, the scene is quite different. An elderly gentleman can be seen carefully scraping up snow in his shovel then piling it against the base of the house. He moves slowly and cautiously, his body bent with age. He steps carefully on the packed snow, filling his shovel half full with snow. The piles of snow he has created around the house must act as insulation against the cold temperatures. But as I see this Native elder struggling to build his snow protection, I wonder about the younger man. Is he the son or grandson of the older man? Is he inside creating more art work? Is he warmer because of the snow 'insulation'? And why doesn't he help this old man?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Grocery store...

Had class this morning in Bemidji, then got groceries at Marketplace, on the way home I realized I had forgotten a couple of things, so stopped at Teals in Cass Lake. Say what you will about the town, that supermarket employs the friendliest, most helpful people of any grocery store I've ever shopped in! No matter what day of the week I stop there, I am always greeted in a friendly manner, asked if I need any help, and provided a carry-out person regardless of the number of bags I have. People working there seem to know when I can't find something, even if I don't ask for help...they will ask, "Do you need any help?", "Are you finding what you need?". And instead of just pointing and saying 'it's in aisle #4', they actually WALK YOU TO THE PLACE WHERE THE ITEM IS!
And they don't just do that because I am older with gray hair! My son says when he stops there he is treated the same way.
It's nice to know that the tradition of customer service is alive and well at Teal's Super Value in Cass Lake!

No Cell Phones?...

Cell phones are becoming a problem in some schools. How 'connected' do students need to be during class?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Students Teaching Teachers...

Found this on Rebecca Blood's blog. Students are now teaching their teachers how to use new technology! This is no surprise to those of us in education!!!

My Brain Hurts...

In 'Web Content Writing' class, we are beginning a new project - a hypertext essay. We are doing it on a wiki... and I'm having problems... Just when I think I understand the HTML for a specific process, it doesn't work. Small steps, I keep telling myself. I also tell myself, 'Sharon, you are too old for this. Everyone else is getting it!'
I won't give up, however, I'm here to learn as much as I can. I'm here because I don't want to be one of those grey-haired ladies who sits and knits all day and talks to her cat/dog. I want to keep my brain cells active, alert, and expanding!
Research shows that 'old' people benefit from learning new things... and I'm not going to stop learning new things!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Quilt for A Sweet & Sour Goth...

How do you make a quilt for a friend who is a goth? Well,
  • start with the color... red and black of course!
  • find yummy fabric - brushed suede and a lame'
  • then search internet for embroidery designs...
  • for the 'sour' side - bats, spiders, spider webs...
  • for the 'sweet' side - hearts, flowers, celtic designs...
  • machine-embroider the designs on the black
  • cut strips of the red and then sew them all together
  • last - tie it with black thread

Monday, February 20, 2006

Why Teach?...

I actually had someone ask me to post something about why I enjoyed teaching so much. (Thanks, Froyd!)
Teaching is one of my favorite subjects! Over the years, I have taught at every grade level from K - 12 in schools in Edina, MN, Rhode Island, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, California, Duluth, MN, and Walker, MN. I've even taught adults in many Community Education classes. What meant the most to me was seeing students grasp a new concept, learn a new skill, apply knowledge in a new way, and most of all to see that 'light bulb' go on in their heads as they realized they could DO something or understood something that they hadn't before. Does this make sense?
Yes, I loved it when students said I was their favorite teacher, and I loved it when parents told me I was the best teacher their child ever had, and I loved it when an administrator would praise my work. I loved it when my students excelled on required state tests. I loved it when other teachers would ask my advice or help with a problem situation or child.
I just plain LOVED teaching!!! Summers were too long, and my family always said I needed to get back to school again!
Yes, there were problems - there were some kids I thought I could reach, but the 'home problems' were too monumental...
So having my teaching job eliminated four years ago was utter devastation to me. I was 60 years old, not a good candidate to start job hunting... My family was very loving and supportive and urged me to go back to school... so here I am at BSU, having a ball!
Well, you asked....


Couldn't resist this picture... also from Grandma's Graphics...
Teaching has been a part of who I am for so many years. Thanks to my dear friend Pat, I can still be a part of a classroom.
I visit her third grade class once a week. Pat tells me I can work on any project I want with them. So we work on writing. We've put together cookbooks for their parents and even a story book over the past three years.
Children's writing is so honest and immediate. They write down their thoughts without putting them through any kind of 'filter'. The desire to edit, or 'fix' their writing has not yet become important to them. An adult reading their writing may be confused by unusual spelling or grammar, but if you have the child read his work outloud, it literally 'comes alive'!
Can you tell I love teaching? In my mind, 'it doesn't get any better than this'!

Presidents' Day...

Today is Presidents' Day. For many years, it has meant a three-day weekend and sales at the shopping malls. But I think it's nice to remember that it's also a day to honor all the men who have struggled to lead our country through many difficult times. (Don't I sound like the teacher I was for 30 years? Sorry, can't help it!)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's Fixed...

Once again, my son has come to my rescue... My problem with doing our taxes turned out to be with our firewall. It had to be turned off in order to download the updates that the program required... Oh dear, once he graduates and moves out, what will I do when I have computer problems?

Oh My Gosh!!!...

This is incredible! Can you imagine taking care of a new baby at age 62???

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I Don't Like It...

No sir, I don't like it. I don't like feeling inadequate, or unable to do something. I've always prided myself in being able to finish what I start, being able to figure out how something should be done, and being able to find a solution to a problem... that is, until income tax time comes around!
I do our taxes every year with a marvelous computer program called 'Turbo-Tax'. Well....this year they 'revised' the program. Needless to say, I have spent the entire day trying to complete this yearly task only to be stuck at a point where the program must 'check for updates' before continuing.... "cannot complete request" ... "unable to access" ... "totally stupid program, why did you buy this?" OK, it didn't say the last thing, but it should have!
I 'saved' and closed the program several times and tried again - no luck.
Soooooo, I have a raging headache, my stomach hurts, and I'm just plain cranky!
I will watch "Nero Wolf" solve this week's case, do some word puzzles, and try to sleep.
As Scarlet would say, "I'll think about that tomorrow."

This is just NOT right...

The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued a Wind Chill
Advisory... which is in effect from 6 PM this evening to 12 PM CST
Sunday. A wind chill warning remains in effect until noon CST

Gusty winds and very cold temperatures will continue to cause
dangerous wind chills of 35 below to 55 below zero this morning
across all of northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. Under
these conditions... frost bite of exposed skin could occur in less
than 10 minutes. If you must be outside... dress
appropriately... especially covering hands... face and head.

The wind chills will rise to 15 below to 20 below zero this
afternoon with slightly warmer high temperatures expected.
However... continued gusty west winds with falling temperatures
this evening will drop winds chills back to 25 below to 35 below
zero for tonight and Sunday morning.

A wind chill warning means the combination of very cold air and
strong winds will create dangerously low wind chill values. This
could result in frost bite and lead to hypothermia if precautions
are not taken.
-From WCCO's web site

Friday, February 17, 2006

Promise of things to come. . .

I'm taking a cue from 'Signora'. With the frigid temperatures right now, we have to remember that spring WILL come! The sun will warm us, the breezes will bring the sweet scent of growing things, birds and butterflies will dance around the gardens, chipmunks will scamper to find seeds for lunch, and it will be a joy to step outside once again. Oh soon, soon, soon...

Thursday, February 16, 2006


A positive attitude
causes a chain reaction
of positive thoughts,
events, and outcomes.
It is a catalyst,
a spark that creates
extraordinary results.

- Anonymous

This is something I really need to think about every day.
It's very easy for me to get depressed about world events, politicians making fools of themselves, health problems, money issues... the list could go on and on.
But what good is that? It doesn't do any good to just concentrate on the bad things in life. I have to get up and do something positive. Even if it is something simple, like washing the dishes, or doing some laundry.
This is a difficult time of the year - dark, cold.... I keep trying to be positive, to see the light...

Cold, colder, coldest...

The Channel 9 weatherman is warning about extreme cold coming tonight... windchills of -45, danger of hypothermia and frostbite.
Weather such as this used to be commonplace for northern Minnesota. We have gotten spoiled over the years.
I remember (don't you hate it when old people start a sentence with that?) one winter my husband and I were living in Duluth. It was in the 70's (the year not the temp). We came over to Walker to visit my parents for a long weekend. Temps dropped to -37... Wind chill was -60. Anyway, my parents had an older home, heated by a large wood-burning furnace in the basement. My husband went outside with my dad to throw more wood in the basement. They bundled up as warmly as they could, but by the time they came in, my husband's beard and mustache was covered with ice and frost that his breath had created.... Brrrrrrr.
That was also the winter that the city of Duluth (and other cities across the north) tried their best to conserve energy. I was teaching at Grant Elementary, and thermostats were at 65 in the classrooms, 55 in halls and bathrooms... Man, I'm getting the chills just remembering that!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Cartoon War...

Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News drew this one... The furor over the Danish cartoon depictions of Muhammed have sparked protests, riots, destruction of 'Western' businesses, etc. Daryl Cagle's Cartoon Index has a complete section of them.
And it all started as a 'test' of freedom of the press'...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Massage Therapy...

Today I was finally able to see my massage therapist. I normally see her twice a month to help with the pain of osteoarthritis. However, due to my schedule of classes this semester, I hadn't seen her since before Christmas... Needless to say, joint pain had progressed...
So now I'm definitely in pain... a session with her helps immeasurably in the long run, but the first 24 hrs. after a treatment is not pleasant.
I keep telling myself, 'tomorrow will be better'. But tonight is now... and I'm in discomfort NOW! Sorry to complain... I know others are far worse off than I am...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Driving to school...

I enjoy my 35 mile drive to school. I have Minnesota Public Radio playing on the car radio, my travel mug full of coffee, and unless the weather is really bad, I actually relax and enjoy the northwoods scenery on my way to class.
I'm used to watching for deer, hoping that none cross in front of me... the number of dead carcasses (three this last week) attest to other drivers not being as lucky as I have been so far! There is one furry, mangled body that has lain by the side of the road for a couple of days now, providing meals for the crows that gather around it. Today was no exception, however, there seemed to be one 'crow' that was so much larger than the others...
As I got closer, I saw it was a bald eagle who had joined the 'banquet'! I'm used to seeing them in the sky, and occasionally sitting in a tree by the side of the road, but seeing one that close is a thrill! They are huge! As I came nearer the group having their snack, the crows slowly took to the air but the eagle raised his head briefly to look at me as if to say, 'Nothing you can do will move me!'

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Watching the Winter Olympics...

I'm watching the Winter Olympics and realizing that there was a time in the life of each of these marvelous athletes when they raced on snow or ice just for the fun of it - when they were young and fearless...

Eelpout is over...

The Eelpout weekend is over... My son, the one on the far left in the bottom picture, brought his friends over for their annual pancake brunch at our house. They had a good time and didn't fall in the lake.

My husband makes his 'world-famous' buttermilk pancakes - fluffy and delicious! This year he served sausage patties as well.

The group has already made plans to do it again next year! Ah, youth...

Phone calls...

Last night I got a wonderful phone call from our daughter. My 'baby girl', a foot taller than her mom! She was home for a visit in October. Visits are too few and too far between...
We stay connected with email and phone calls...but it's not the same. I miss her...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Quiet Night in the Northwoods...

Husband is asleep already, dogs are asleep, son is still out 'Eelpouting' with his friends, and here I sit at the computer...
I've been having trouble getting to sleep lately. Not sure why...
Thinking about a big sewing project I'm working on, deciding how to implement my project for 'Blogs and Wikis' class, and wondering what I will do for the new assignment in 'Web Content Writing'. Even though I am just auditing these classes, I try to complete all the assignments to the best of my ability. That's the only way I'm going to learn the skills I want to have...
So I sit and 'surf the net', looking for ideas, checking the Olympic news, back to looking for ideas for my assignments...
Maybe, if I get tired enough, I will fall asleep quickly...

Valentine Roses...

I know it's not quite Valentine's Day...but I couldn't resist.
<---These are some of my rose bushes from last summer. Yes, they grow just fine in northern Minnesota! They are 'Hardy Shrub Roses'. They do not need any special care for winter, just trim the 'canes' back and that's it!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Olympic Games Begin...

I'm watching the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympic Games. The pageantry of the whole thing is so entertaining... but what I enjoy the most is knowing that so many countries of the world can set aside any differences they may have and celebrate the hard work and dedication of these young athletes. As they march into the arena behind their individual flags, the smiles, pride shining from their faces, and the wonder in their eyes is universal.
Of course I'm waiting to see the American group enter, hoping to get a glimpse of my nephew, Alan Alborn. This will be his third time at the Olympics. The Americans have such a large group, it is hard to spot just one individual, but maybe...
Alan suffered a severe injury to his knee just a year ago, and didn't think he would make it to this event. But he trained very hard to get back his strength in that leg.

The Ice Fairy Cometh...

May the 'Ice Fairy' touch Leech Lake
with her frigid gold wand,
turning water harder than stone.

Watch over the Festival, dear lady
of cold,
keep revelers from sinking in waters below.

Illustration by Margaret Tuller, courtesy of Grandma's Graphics

Poem by me, believe it or not!

Eelpout Festival - New Regulations...

Update on new regulations for Eelpout. Due to the inconsistent ice conditions on Leech Lake, Sheriff Randy Fisher has issued restrictions on vehicles.
Everyone--please be safe!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

White Knuckle Drive....

The snow began as I approached Bemidji this morning... Didn't look too bad. Went to class, Web Content Writing, and as always - learned a great deal, got new assignment, new class schedule (only have to go once a week). Then stopped for some groceries... came out to lots more snow and wind. Highway 2 - passing lane totally covered with snow... driving lane iffy at best... no one tried to pass me... Highway 371... both lanes snow covered... everyone going slowly... no passing... meeting cars and trucks meant a cloud of snow coming up... white-outs every few minutes... by the time I got home I had a fierce headache, arms, shoulders and neck stiff and aching... time for a NAP....


OK, I want to thank everyone for not pointing out the fact that I CAN'T COUNT!!!!! In my post of a couple days ago, I said my grandfather had FIVE sisters.... look at the picture, Sharon, 1,2,3,4... How lame is that!
I guess everyone needs a reality check now and then. "Hello, still in there? about working to full capacity now and then.... especially when posting something for all the world to see... HMMM? who think you should correct other's spelling and grammar.... you who spent over 30 years of your life as a TEACHER for goodness sake.... you charlatan... you faker... you poser... you can't even count to FOUR!!!"
Ouch, that really hurt! But I think I needed it. Maybe I should give myself a 'talking to' more often.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

How Old Are You?....

Try this.

The Water's Stiff!!!.....

Remember this scene in Disney's Bambi? Thumper encourages Bambi to come out on the lake with him, saying, "Come on. It's OK. The water's STIFF!"
Well, I've been worrying about the 'stiffness' of the water of Leech Lake... too much warm weather was resulting in very 'iffy' ice conditions. My son has a group of friends coming for their annual Eelpout Festival outing, and I had nightmares about the whole group ending up at the bottom of the lake... Now with cooler temperatures these past days, it seems as if the ice will be, if not totally safe, at least safer than it was!

The Wiki War...

Aaron posted a link to his wiki assignment, so I thought I should do the same. (I know, but isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?)
<---Here's my wiki project. The photo is of my great grandfather (in the center) and his five children. My grandfather is to the right. (just imagine, one boy with FIVE sisters!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Translate Internet Slang...

A fascinating site that allows the user to translate online slang and acronyms.

Winter is Getting Old...

Found the coolest site on Rebecca Blood's blog! It's called Grandma's Graphics, and has vintage graphics which may be downloaded.

<--This little guy seemed to illustrate how most of us are feeling about the cold, dark days that seem to stretch on and on.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to brighten up this time of the year... please let me know. I'm getting very depressed...

Monday, February 06, 2006

My Nephew, the Olympic Skiier...

My sister's son, Alan Alborn, will be competing in his THIRD Winter Olympics! He is a ski jumper.
He competed in Japan when he was just 17, then again in Salt Lake City. Now he will be in Tourin! We are very proud of him!
My sister is the 'baby' of our family, 14 years younger than I am. They live in Alaska. One of the newspaper stories about Alan. If you search 'Google' for Alan Alborn, you will find 26 plus pages about him! (There are more, but I got tired!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Our Wilkening fireplace has been keeping our place toasty warm these past few frigid days. It is on the first floor, so keeps the whole house warm. I love it. The only problem is that someone needs to be home to 'feed' it. So by the time I get home from class tomorrow, I will probably have to re-start it. I'm not very good at that. I can throw logs in, but starting a good fire is a skill I do not have.


I'm glad for this cold weather. It means Leech Lake is MAKING ice instead of losing it. Next weekend is the 27th Annual Eelpout Festival (which I mentioned before), and tens of thousands of people congregate on the lake. This year the Sheriff is not allowing vehicles on the ice except for snowmobiles and ATV's. And all 'emcampments' must be close to the shore by the park area...
There was an article about Eelpout in last week's Walker paper. Right next to it was a picture and story about the Sheriff's Department Water Rescue Team practicing ice rescues....Coincidence? I think not!

Back in Business...

OK, have my blogroll homework done for Weblogs & Wikis...drank a pot of coffee....visited the bathroom several times....Now I'm TIRED!!!!

Here We Go Again...

Couldn't I'll be re-creating my blog-roll. Have a pot of fresh coffee to sustain me after not being able to sleep but a couple hours last night.
My Sony is wondering why I'm up so early.


And all my links are gone!!!! Bad blogger!!!

Not right...

OK, so it's NOT right yet...I can see other's blogs...and post.... template is yeucky! Tried to re-set way

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Finally, blogger seems to be back in its right mind!
I've only been blogging for a little over a month, and not being able to was driving me nuts!!!
Hope it stays up and running now...

Blogger is Wicked...

Posts disappearing...not able to access blogs....weird...

Friday, February 03, 2006

New Browser Anyone?

My Firefox died... It was giving me little messages lately about downloading something and I kept clicking 'later' because I'm not comfortable with those kinds of things. My son always takes care of that stuff. But he's out of town for a few days at a training seminar.... finally died. Here I am, plugging along with Netscape and hating it!
Sure hope my son comes home soon.....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The End of an Era ...

It's the end of an era ... Western Union is going out of business after 154 years. Most people today probably never received a telegram, and many might not even know what they were.
Today we have so many ways to communicate that telegrams seem to belong to the 'horse-and-buggy' days. A telegram, more often than not, brought bad news to someone - a death in the family, for example. But there were congratulatory ones and those that brought good news, too.
"At the time it was as incredible and astonishing as the computer when it first came out," said historian Tom Noel. "For people who could barely understand it, here you had the magic of the electric force traveling by wire across the country."
Now we have computers, cell phones, ipods, instant messaging, email, Facebook, and the list keeps growing.
Our need to connect with others, to share information and ideas helps propel the advancements we see today. What will tomorrow bring? Audio implants in our brains? It could happen!

Aahh you guys....

Thank you all for your kind comments on the last (should have been omitted) blog... guess I needed the affirmation.

Chalk it up to gloomy weather, old age, bad mood, whatever caused it, I'm sorry...

You helped me put things in perspective and I SO appreciate it! I will think extra hard about this whole blogging situation.

I will blog because I enjoy it - have things I want to share - enjoy trying new things - it helps me with my writing - and I will learn to quit referring to my self as OLD!!!!

I'm Boring...

I don't get many comments on my blogging. Why is that? I know - I'm life is boring...just an old lady trying to NOT be boring...what is more boring than that?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Is It My age?...

Is it my age? I'm having trouble getting my brain around the whole Wiki thing. Last semester I thought I understood, I'm not so sure.
I have all the sheets of instructions that Dr. Morgan gave us. I read them, study them, have them handy for reference next to my computer. However, when I try to get my wiki to do something I fail...
Right now I'm so frustrated....I hope things get better. I don't want to give up...

February Snow...

February 1, 2006 and the snow came...
I'm such a big chicken, I am staying home and working on class assignments here. Thank heavens, Dr. Morgan understands!

Puppy Prints in the Snow...

My 'girls' are so brave. They trek out into the snow to go 'potty', come back in the house, shake themselves off, retire to their cushion and wash their feet.